Acid trance, slipware pottery and rural, queer identity inform new exhibition in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art.
Earlier this week, visitors enjoyed a deliciously purple-hued experience at the opening of The Gallery’s South West Showcase 2018/19, artist Simon Bayliss’s new exhibition, ‘Meditations in an Emergency’.
Bayliss’ entrancing show combines rave music and video with slipware ceramics, en plein air landscape painting, and romantic poetry. The result reflects the artist’s explorations of rural and queer identity, romanticism and a surreal sense of place.
Featuring all new work, ‘Meditations in an Emergency’ runs from 11 October to 17 November 2018 and was commissioned by The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art as part of South West Showcase 2018/19, a recurring open call platform that began in 2013, showcasing and celebrating contemporary artists from across the South West via the production of two solo exhibitions.
When visitors arrived at the opening night they were invited to don wireless headphones blasting out a dance track produced by Bayliss, immersing them in the artist’s world of acid trance and neon landscapes.
“This South West Showcase commision has supported me to produce the most ambitious body of work I’ve made so far…” - Simon Bayliss
The video projection, one of the first things you see as you enter the exhibition, was inspired by Bayliss’ research following the international controversy surrounding the homoerotic video of Russian air cadets dancing to Benny Benassi’s club anthem ‘Satisfaction’.
Delving into the phenomenon of uniformed workers creating videos in solidarity with the Russian air cadets, Simon discovered the video subgenre of air force marshals dancing on runways, and became fascinated by the tension between the often flamboyant dance and the dancer’s military environment.
Building on the artist’s previous work with found footage in his video ‘Kangaroo Beach’, recently shown as part of a solo exhibition at Exeter Phoenix, Simon has filmed some of the new material, featuring Cornish rapper Passman dancing in a unicorn mask, on a decommissioned military airbase in Cornwall.
The exhibition also features ceramics (from oversized pasties to shrimp jugs), poetry and watercolour painting, which builds on Simon’s growing body of work within craft-based traditions.
Photos by Taylor Harford, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial 2018 graduate.
SOUTH WEST SHOWCASE SEASON OF EVENTS IN THE GALLERY
Weds 17 Oct / 5.30-6.30pm / Studio Theatre
Join us for an artist talk by Simon Bayliss who will discuss his new exhibition at The Gallery alongside his other recent projects.
Weds 7 Nov / 5.30-7.15pm / Studio Theatre
Electroacoustic composer & lecturer Neil Rose will discuss his role in a selection of projects alongside screening works. www.neilrose.co.uk
Friday 16 Nov / 9pm - 3am / The Underground, Plymouth / Tickets £3 on the door
For the closing event of his exhibition Meditations in an Emergency, Simon Bayliss is running a music event featuring Hedluv + Passman, Splash Addict, Zetan Spore, and Lobsta B.