Lauren Gault: Lacks
Lauren Gault's sculptural and film works have an impressively assured air for an artist working at such an early point in her career. Pastel-hued objects, both lumpen and ornate, command the Duchy’s perfectly proportioned gallery space, comprising a body of works that forge a very personal sculptural lexicon. Suggestive, yet indiscernible forms toy with recollections and stir associations, triggering trips and slips of understanding and gently disarming our preconceptions of the work. Parts of these sculptures seem familiar: long wooden poles are reminiscent of bed posts or honey spoons and protruding MDF boards are similar to shop signs. But ultimately, these bewildering objects fall short of recognition. Gault toys with a strange symbolism, but there is a prevailing consistency, and it is this that draws in the viewer.
Placed in pairs, Gault's sculptural works become prop-like. As if detailing a narrative, dialogues emerge, and the four main groups of sculptures become theatrically entwined. Central to this aberrant and peculiar parable is an oneiric film sequence in which varying scenes are glimpsed from the lips of a scallop shell. As the exhibition title suggests, the artists' interest in Lacanian theory has heavily influenced her work, and although an accompanying text supports the artist's explicitly theoretical concerns, the disarming landscape that the artist has created outsells any readings of Lacan or Girard.
Gault's sculptures feel at once familiar and estranged, a trope that signals her artistic ability to shape a new visual language with which to negotiate the stuff of the everyday. An artist to watch.
The Duchy Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Mar