Monday, 8 April 2013


‘Limbo’ at The Coffin Store, Walsingham Place,
Truro - March 28 to April 14th 2013

Subtitled “The first Biannual, forming a blueprint for a future biennale’

I suggest its not just conceived, instigated and supported by Joseph Clarke, Samuel Bassett, Jesse Leroy Smith and Neil Scott but also chosen by them?

Its not that easy to find the place, there’s rather a small notice behind a few arty looking people hanging about in front of it.

The first exhibit is a sculpture by Tim Shaw of a figure on fire, which someone we knew had told us about, saying it was based on a soldier on fire in Iraq, but I don’t know if I would have realised that unless I’d been told.
Its not really got enough space  and I am most moved by the title - ‘What God of Love Inspires Such Hate in the Hearts of Men’.

It turns out there is quite a lot to see in the show. Unfortunately its freezing cold, but after a while, finding things that interest me and getting into conversation I forget about that for a while, but its tough for those invigilating or working there.

My attention was caught by Alban Roinard’s video in black and white with words spoken in Cornish and subtitled. Its all about death and the sea and a child and remembering and its saying something that I linger to take it in again and try to learn how to pronounce a few of the Cornish words from my husband , Pedyr Prior, who can speak them. The sound is a bit low despite Jesse Leroy Smith noticing and coming over to turn it up with the remote.

A large area upstairs is given over to various artists painting from photos of famous people, but at first I don’t get what its about at all.
 Having spoken to Richard Ballinger we get into a lively conversation about suicide and include personal experiences, my online ‘Umanets petition’ protesting about the sentence of the Rothko scribbler, how and why Rothko killed himself, and how the TAap group put in a proposal for this item to be in the show. It fits well with being in a coffin store.
Its the conversation that is engaging and gets me to linger and look at the paintings and think about the subject and the fact that the paintings are being created on the spot.

There was a lot more. 
Unfortunately two electrically powered projections were not working.
 I presume one of these would have been the slide show documenting some of the many artists in ‘the south west’ which is an odd phrase to use if the future biennale is to be Cornish. 
There was neon, hanging things, paintings, sound [too loud for me] and  other video. There were socialist slogans on the rafters, which I was delighted to see. I don’t suppose the coffin makers did them?

This show made an impact and was quite a surprise just off Truro’s shopping area. 
Will it lead to a ‘Cornish Biennale’? Sounds exciting.
If so will I and many other artists in Cornwall hear about it in time to get involved? - I say this as I didn’t hear about this one until it was about to open.

Will there be a less male list of exhibitors?

Will there be more signage to get a few passers by to find it?

Anyway, well worth the trip and an inspiring spurt of energy in the art community.

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