Art Review//Robyn Woolston - Strangers In A Strange Land

Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery has seen much in the way of upheaval and revolution since it's inception in 1877. From heated Union battles to bloody ambushes right through to it's use as a ration book collection point during the war it has a social value that shines through as you enter the elegantly carved entrance. But above all it's  a paradise for lovers of art. In contrast to other galleries in the area it's approach is a overly more classicist one but there are flashes of the modern art world as you traverse it's many halls. Not least on the first floor where Liverpool Art Prize winner Robyn Woolston recently installed her latest piece Strangers in A Strange Land.

Following the direction of her recent work it takes it's inspiration from the environment and Green awareness and at first glance the bales of plastic in the marbled space look extremely out of place. But are they really? On second glance there is a natural logarithm at play that makes perfect sense. The nine bales are aligned with the contours of the space, placing them into the context of the setting perfectly. The message of the installation is further explained by the photographic images shot on location in Istanbul that seek to emphasise the question of what is waste and what is wasteful. 

From our point of view it was an installation that was challenging in it's ultra modern art take on it's themes but stepping back from the view you could see a beauty about the installation, counterpointed by the inclusion of a picture from the Walker collection of the same name. Although it would be easy to dismiss the installation, ignoring it's subtle tones and hues and focusing on the obvious physical nature of the work that would be a mistake. 

Woolston's installation's possess a multi faceted understanding that goes beyond the immediately obvious. In the case of Strangers in Strange Land it's the value of the object that is on the outside seemingly waste yet also a piece of art harvested from waste that would usually go unconsidered in it's significance. As such it's a valauble piece of social commentary that serves dual purposes in it's mode of expression and it's ever more prescient message. 

Sebastian Gahan.

You can see Strangers in a Strange Land until June 23rd 2013 with an Artist's Talk taing place on May 11th. 

Popular Posts