Friday, 11 April 2014

Peter Fox at Redwing gallery, Penzance

Peter Fox ‘Que Paso’ Redwing Gallery Penzance.

This show is on from April 5th for a month, Tuesday to Sat, 11 to 5, free entry, refreshments available. The Redwing is a gallery for alternative art outside the mainstream and is a large space where Peter Fox and Ros Williams also host workshops for art and craft and have live music, poetry and film. It is a Community Interest Company and has transformed a disused shop into a lively art gallery, in Wood Street, opposite the Crown Inn in Bread Street and at the other end joining Market Jew Street on the corner where there is a light bulb shop, opposite and further down than Peacocks.

At the moment Peter Fox has a solo show; you can always find out their program of events online and on Facebook.

Peter paints and also makes constructions and decorated boxes, all his work having a lovingly hand crafted appearance with great care taken over the surfaces.

I asked Peter where his imagery comes from and it seems he likes to invite images to rise from his subconscious. He is aware of influences such as Mayan art and has since childhood liked some images that recur in his pictures  such as tower. There are comets, strange spotted animals, birds etc.

He likes to use a red sky  and other strong vibrant colours, although on the other hand some of his work is more subdued grey and brown. One work controversially reclaims the swastika as a sign used long before the nazis perverted it.

What I like particularly is the way the symbols and images are placed in the compositions,  implying movement like a dance around the space, probably linked to Peter’s love of Latin American music and rhythm.

There are witty visual juxtapositions of scale or places where a circle could be a ball rolling on an edge or not, a snake may slither in and out of columns or a branch with a bird on it can even emerge from the frame.

I am not aware of another artist using images and symbols like this, in a clear unsentimental way, subtle and  vibrant.