Tuesday, 25 January 2011


It's now post-Biennial times and voids need to be filled, The Bluecoats empty spaces are flooded by the current exhibition 'Underwater'. As soon as I entered the main space I was awash with the feeling of being underwhelmed and drowned in disappointment. I was first met with Seunghyun Woo's sculptures of imaginary aquatic flora and fauna which occupied far too much of the gallery's main space as it seemed it was of a GCSE Art standard. This piece's reflection was an annoyance also, as I've been a fan of Bill Violas video work for a number of years but due to its nature and the set up, all I saw was Woo's sunken failure. Bill Violas work 'Becoming Light' screamed out for an isolated room in which you could fully submerse yourself in his underwater dance such as the room Dorothy Cross' video 'Jellyfish Lake' occupied, yet instead it's placed amongst limp sculptures and distracting sounds. I feel that the curator of this particular show should be dealt the fault, as he or she seems to have chosen and placed artists and art works in a rather uninspired way.

Not all of the works left me feeling adrift as Daniel Gustav Cramer's photographs grabbed me hook, line and sinker, as they were a subtle landscape of the deep. These stood out in a sea of mediocrity as it blurred the lines of being underwater. They also shone light on the dark unseen cracks of the sea giving them a dramatic and other worldly landscape feel.

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