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MATERIAL CONCERNS 2019
For this exhibition at PAPER, Short Supply presented the work of both directors, Mollie Balshaw and Rebekah Beasley. Material Concerns explored the materiality of media as a starting point for explorations of queer identity. The concept that gender is a construct and sexuality is ever-fluid is examined literally through process; a heavy impasto mark, a precision collage or a unified coat of spray paint. These techniques and processes express a need to rebel, rearrange and take inspiration from reality and fiction in the re-calling of the LGBT+ experience.
With the barrage of scepticism and negativity that queer individuals are known to face through the regular invalidation of their own identities - as if their existence is up for debate - it feels appropriate to return to something physical, of substance, with a presence that can’t be denied. Material grants the artist control.
These works incorporated paper in disparate ways; Balshaw’s approach presented a controlled chaos, materials pushed to the limits of their capacity with an intentional abstraction and exploitation of chance. Beasley’s works take the opposite approach; harsh lines and appropriated figurative imagery that emphasise the idea that all material, and by extension all narrative context, is up for interpretation and can be taken into one’s own hands.
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