6/01/2006 — 4/03/2006
Tanya Axford makes films, installations and interventions, in which she orchestrates situations and objects into compositions of sound and movement.
Her materials are the mass-produced objects, popular culture, domesticity and events of ordinary life, manipulated into playful performances and 'magical' environments, which expose their inherent characteristics or comic potential.
Mundane rituals interwoven with folly is a recurring theme in Axford’s work. Shopping and cleaning are subjects covered in two new films, which were shown for the first time here. In 'Scanning the Horizon', 2005, the contents of a shopping trolley are meticulously and fanatically ordered by colour and tone on the supermarket checkout. 'Rodeo Rodeo', 2005, features the artist struggling to control an industrial floor polisher in a comical performance that resembles a rodeo cowboy controlling his horse.
The exhibition also included Axford's recent installation entitled 'View Halloo', 2005, commissioned by Turner Contemporary, and first shown at Droit House, Margate; realised at Grundy on a larger, more ambitious scale. Like most of Axford's installations, View Halloo is constructed from an accumulation of identical objects - here, crystal wineglasses stacked upon spinning record player turntables. 'View Halloo' is a sound installation, and intervention. It demands our attention through the sound of clattering glass that is audible throughout the gallery; however our presence besides the work renders it suddenly silent and motionless. Unsettling as it is striking, we are made to feel self-conscious of our surroundings and presence in the room; in order to see the work the viewer must remain still, held captive by their own curiosity.
This was Axford’s first solo exhibition in the North West of England, and was supported by Arts Council England.
She has produced work for Locus+ and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, and is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead.