Collage Collectable Presents

Gostins Art Gallery, Hanover Street
21st October – 27th November 2010

Reviewed by Tom Bottle

Making our way to Gostins I says to my good mate Dusty, “I love these autumn nights. Y’know, around this time, when everyone’s knockin’ off work. You can feel the excitement!”

“Really”, he replied, which could mean anything, but I took it as a thorough endorsement of all the tingling emotion I was getting at. So, what do we see as soon as we fly up the stairs into Gostins? Lis, the curator, in a flamboyant purple number of course, but also a painting of traffic caught at the height and swirl of the night. The very peak, when the lights don’t get any brighter, when everything is alive, and the only way is down. Derek Corlett’s bus and taxi scene captured it all in Hanover Street.

“Where do you get your ideas for the content, Derek?”

“Well, a book I read years ago said - what’s the point of painting a bridge in Venice if you don’t live in Venice. So, I paint what I know”. Excellent answer. I’m not advocating paintings of every back fence in Liverpool, but it’s good to see a decent picture you recognize.

I wasn’t the only one. “That’s me after one of my cakes”, said someone down my ear then noddin’ at the picture. Customised ‘skunk’ muffins it turns out, “Only mine are green when you bite into them!” Saves him buying the artwork, I suppose.

One I like for that wall with the dodgy pattern is Towards a Conjuration of Angels by Tony Dash, whose muted and complementary colours are bang on the money (£90, if you’re flush enough). The rest of the show is a mixed media bag of good stuff from Cherrie Crist’s promising giant paint-flinging extranaganzas (which the Walker agree with ‘cos they shortlisted one of her pieces, her mother told me), to Colin Reid’s rustic pastels, and Will Simmons poignant flowers memorial tied to a lamppost.

A good atmosphere and crackin’ turnout too in Gostin’s, which has the advantage of two separate gallery rooms and the extra mingling factor which that brings. I’ve got to scoot myself but a quick word with Lis herself before I do.

“Got anything in the show yourself. Lis?”

She takes me to the collage triplets, No Butterflies Harmed (available separately), recycled collages from fake Chinese Cabbage Whites, lino tiles, and a piece she found in the road from the plastic strip hanging outside one of the Renshaw Street Biennial exhibitions. “You can see into them what you like”, says Lis.

And you can’t say fairer than that!

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