This Friday, 31 October, the Grundy Art Gallery presents a private viewing (open to the public) of Haunted House.
The idea for a Haunted House theme at the Grundy came about when a puppeteer from a previous show was interested in the elements of seen and hidden aspects suggested when puppets had been locked away from view, or put into archives. The curator of the Grundy, Richard Parry, also imagined the puppets to have souls, as ghosts, realising also that this applied to the collection of paintings here too and so the exhibition was created.
The Haunted House stages some of the main collection of paintings and brings out the older more mysterious paintings from the archive, to expose a notion of lost souls making an appearance, the dichotomy of absence and presence, the dead and the living. Some works are noted as notoriously haunted, and so too is the Edwardian building itself, where there can be felt a certain vibe. The artist was interested in the supernatural, and gothic literature. An example of this type of ghostly goings on is apparent in Susan Hiller’s work which is a series of photographic works in which the camera substitutes for the specialised vision of psychics.
The artists’ work will evoke a certain presence whilst visitors view the exhibition, and should create a sense of both attachment and detachment to each piece, a certain type of lost or found emotion, where the relics suggest unseen presences such as a pair of eyes following you around the gallery, the evocative trap door or supernatural force pulling and drawing you in to alert you to its force.
Aura Satz’s work is ‘spectral flame’. Her work is an installation of sound and video. The showcase installation, by Susan Philipsz, is called ‘Lowlands’. This particular piece suggests tragedy, and the theme is of a lover revisiting a past situation to say farewell. This auditory sensation can be heard throughout the galleries. Haunted Song won The Turner Prize in 2010 and hasn’t been shown often since. It is on loan from the British Council.
Three black and white etchings by David Hockney, illustrating fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, will also be making an appearance.
Throughout the running of the exhibition, and on every Wednesday at 6pm for approximately 45mins, local artist and Gothic enthusiast Sean Payne will be reading chilling encounters of ghosts, ghouls and demons. This is a presence not to be missed. These reading will include a series of Gothic and Edwardian themed writings by M.R. Jones, H.P. Lovecraft, Walter Delamare, and Charles Dickens. An eerie atmosphere is guaranteed throughout the exhibition. There will also be some film screenings, including as a showing of The Haunting.
A new commission by The Grundy for the exhibition is by french artist Olivier Castel and involves a ghostly aura of the space with the introduction of objects which have a certain presence about them. The haunting theme will also be evoked by a mysterious process which involves the movement of paintings and relics within the gallery.
Fancy dress is an option for the launch on Friday but not essential. A spooky atmosphere is guaranteed. Prepare to be spooked.
Haunted House at The Grundy runs from 1 November 2014 to 17 January 2015. The preview is on Friday between 6pm and 8pm.
Artwork Credit: David Hockney, “The Sexton Disguised as a Ghost” from “Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm” 1969, Etching. © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt
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