Sunday, 7 November 2010


Nicholas Hlobo's elaborate, colourful labyrinthine of ribbons has been one of the best experiences of this 'Touched' Biennial. It has been one of the most tactile and surprising pieces of I experienced so far. I walked up the stairs to Hlobo's center piece at the Bluecoat and found a maze of coloured ribbons which was thick and deep. As I explored every detail that hung before me I realised that this piece seemed to be the one of the first if not the most impressive of sensory art works within the 'Touched' Biennial. A lot of works that are in the Biennial have been some what loosely based on the theme of 'Touched' which is great as it's a very open word and therefore gives a diverse range of outcomes but it's also nice to see something embrace the word full on and give you something that touches the senses. This piece reminds me of Martin Creed's 'Work No. 200 (Half the air in a given space)', Mainly because of the tactile nature of the works and the use of colour and simple everyday materials but then elevated and used on mass to create these overwhelming pieces.
The surprise with this piece is its centre, A couple of manikins dressed in gimp type outfits. This piece reminds me of a Humbug sweet, you think you've got it sussed and then there lye's a surprise in the centre. With the Humbug though you remember the delightful surprise that awaits you where as with Hlobo's piece I feel I will over time, forget about the pair of gimps and only remember the ribbons. I don't fully understand the use of gimps and felt that If the piece hadn't have had them in I wouldn't have be in it thinking "I'm really enjoying this but you know what I think it needs...a pair of manikins in gimp dresses".

I would like to work on this scale and with this bold use of colour as I've had a fascination with colour for many years now. I've wanted to do a interactive/performance piece for many years now, I would like to work balloons but I fear Martin creed has beaten me to the punch but maybe something will come of it someday.

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