House 2015. Group exhibition. Oriel Davies, Newtown, Powys.
Six artists examine the meaning of house, home and domesticity. Empty, bare boned and imaginary, the house is not always a comfortable place to dream in.
“In House, Oriel Davies’ current show, it’s the weather that shapes many of the dwellings. Frances Carlile’s print, ‘Glass Door’, 2015, brings Ted Hughes’ poem ‘Wind’ to mind with its house ‘all at sea’ and ‘windows trembling to come in’. And then there are Carlile’s structures, ‘Story’, 2013, and ‘Lyric’, 2013, miniature homes formed from blackthorn. Wall-less, open to the elements, her houses are falling, shattering, disintegrating, as unsafe inside as they are outside. Fairytale associations come flooding in – familiar stories like Goldilocks, Hansel & Gretel, Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the less familiar Baba Yaga and The Three Little Men in the Wood, all featuring a shack, hidden deep in a forest. Some offer refuge, others do not. As spaces, all are transformational.”
Review by Ellen Bell from The New Welsh Review issue 109, 2015.
Lyric and Story can be seen in greater detail in Winter Work.
In the sculpture Butterfly Library a solitary oversized butterfly book lies on a table in a house slowly returning to nature. A dusty natural museum.
A series of eight etchings use domestic objects in the landscape to construct a narrative of absence; string, a saw, a boat, a door, a table, a cooker. All are used to describe a space where the people have left.
The full series can be seen on the Printmaking page.
The etching Clearance was made in response to the tragedy of the Highland Clearances in North West Scotland. The Isle of Skye can be clearly seen in the distance. All the furniture from the house is still present, but the house itself has gone.
In a series of linocuts, the artists’ book Vignette describes a house blowing itself apart and then returning to an uneasy tranquillity.
Twinned summer and winter images; weather is a constant preoccupation.