The Linchpin Gallery in Eastbourne is continuing to prove itself adventurous: whilst many small seaside galleries concentrate on the purely commercial, the Lynchpin tucked away in a mews off the Willowfield Road has a more experimental side. Established by Irene Runayker in December 2011 the gallery shows established artists in the upstairs room but uses the ground floor for a variety of changing exhibitions. Currently showing is work by 9 artists, all of whom have created works which in some way are linked to boxes. Although I am one of the artists included, I was surprised to discover that so many people were working with boxes but then, perhaps it is not surprising; boxes do have the inherent advantage that they provide a natural constraint forcing the artist and the viewer to concentrate on the contents. Then there is the sense of mystery; it started with Pandora and has even included audiences of some television quiz, the name of which I have mercifully forgotten; everybody wants to see what is in the box.
The works are extremely different. Among the work there, I particularly liked Cat Ingrams’ Sketch Box. If you ignore the reflection of me photographing it, you can just make out that the dimensions of the door are written on the to wall above it.
Joyce Corbett’s assemblages took a variety of throw away objects, bottle tops, can-pulls and rearranged them to create something different and deceptively simple.
Elizabeth Claridge’s Fetish Objects have a decided sexual symbolism.
I also liked Paul Bartholomew’s series A Flowering which reminded me of Moorish tiles, but also of a logic puzzle
Of course I have to show you my work: Suitcase. The case belonged to my father; I remember it being used when I was a child. The contents which are painted red (I don’t need to explain the symbolism) come from a variety of sources; my daughter was not too thrilled to find that a pair of her shoes had become part of it.
Sadly one of the most interesting of the works by Julia Mitchell had melted by the time I got to the exhibition. Photographed here reflected in the window it comprised three blocks of ice. Jules explained “The base level contained a letter my grandmother wrote to me when she was dying. The middle block shown contained photos of people that were mentioned in the letter. The blocks also contained lavender, something of which she always smelt and which in turn made the ice smell lovely. It was an auto-destruct memorial of which the viewer could only see a part, as most of the photos were not seen until it melted. The photos were strewn in the car park it was like finding discarded treasures.”
Art in Boxes is showing at the Linchpin Gallery 67a Willowfield Road, Eastbourne BN228AP until September 20. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10.30 to 3.30.