Beth Dynowski: New States (4 stars)

Artist's first solo show ia a three-part installation that prods and pokes at perception

Beth Dynowski: New States

The first solo show from Beth Dynowski comprises a curious set of objects, which extend across Market Gallery’s three exhibition spaces. The ceramic, metal and found items that litter the galleries’ floors hold their own aesthetic fascination – colourful, oversized, ceramic neurons that tinkle as you walk among them, and jewel-like watercolours that dot the wall – but the show is a three-part installation rather than a compendium of the conceptual artist's practice.

The key to the exhibition is its title: New States. Using tropes of visual trickery and chemical reaction, the installation underlines the fact that change can happen without much seeming to change at all. The exhibition's accompanying text reveals that the apparently abstract paintings are actually detailed studies of the remnants of an ancient Greek astronomical device – causing a change in perception, much like the one that upset the belief that the sun revolved around the earth.

Elsewhere, misshapen ceramics are painted to look like boulders, a pair of cheaply made, high street boots masquerade as antiques and, in the centre gallery, two long metal pipes extend from the walls, their turquoise 'corrosion' caused by a mixture of ammonia and sawdust. It’s in this gallery that the ceramic neurons fill the floor: they are the building blocks of the human brain, as equally dependent on chemical reaction as corrosion.

From a collection of seemingly disparate objects, Dynowski has created a complex installation that prods and pokes at perception, creating tension and drawing lines between ancient civilisations and modern life, the authentic and the fake, the manmade and the natural. New States is constructed to get your own (non-ceramic) neurons firing – and that it most definitely does, making clear that when the ground shifts beneath us, it’s we who move, not it.

Market Gallery, Glasgow, until Fri Dec 6

Beth Dynowski: New States

Solo show by Dumbarton-born artist whose previous work includes Desk, a video of a doomed attempt to sail across the sea on an ordinary office desk.


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