Sally Osborn: Oh Ha Hmm
- Alexander Kennedy
- 6 September 2007
The metaphorical and actual preciousness of Sally Osborn’s previous sculptural work has been crushed under the onslaught of an expanding self-confidence in the work on show at Glasgow Sculpture Studios. It is overly simplistic to read a surer sense of self into larger and harder objects, but it’s difficult not to see these wooden and metal pieces as a confident departure from the work Osborn made previously out of more friable materials: foil, paper towels and watercolour. These objects assert their presence rather than apologise for it.
The work on show in the gallery presents itself straight on, with the viewer’s position in the perspectival cone somewhere outside on the street, looking in the window. The space acts like a minimal stage set where a Beckettian play could unfold. Objects are either reduced to sketches of themselves (a stairway becomes a geometric line creeping up the back wall) or humorously tweaked flotsam and jetsam (a gas stove becomes a satellite dish and two plastic cups act like binoculars). Invisible eyes look through these cups (they appear to have been used for mixing paint or cleaning a brush), returning the gaze from a surer, objective, abstract place beyond the realm of the viewer.
Osborn’s use of the outside space is even more successful, with an acute sense of play emerging, but the viewer’s (and artist’s) wish to project a naïve narrative at this fragmented scene detracts from the weight of the objects.
Glasgow Sculpture Studio, Glasgow, until Sat 15 Sep