Hayley Tompkins: Digital Light Pools (4 stars)

Playful painted objects transform our ideas of ordinary items in this solo show

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Hayley Tompkins: Digital Light Pools

Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd. Photo: Ruth Clark

It's the brightest and airiest of environments that have housed Hayley Tompkins’ floor-based bird’s-eye picture-postcard views of holy-hued rainbows, high-rise cityscapes, earth-bound stone formations, tranquil blue seas and fog-bound multi-lane traffic surges thus far. Originally seen as part of Scotland's contribution to Venice 2013 and now forming part of the nationwide GENERATION programme, these off-the-peg images contained in plastic trays on the floor play with the full light-and-shade spectrum of the Common Guild's high-windowed townhouse interior they’ve been reconfigured for, alongside an empty chair to take in the view. The painted stick on the wall, half-consumed bottles of coloured liquid, fake steaks, baguettes and a plastic salad sandwich in the hall suggest the left-over souvenirs of an off-piste picnic in some man-made, make-believe utopia.

Upstairs, newer works, on the wall this time, take a trippier approach, with the looking-glass light-show swirls and poached-egg shapes that occupy the plastic trays giving them the feel of petri dish experiments in search of the most refreshing facsimile of authenticity they can muster. Where these swirls might ooze, pulse and spit with life, here they’ve been captured at their most vivid and preserved in what, like any still life, is an approximated palette of living colour. The close-up of a crush of oranges in the hallway isn’t the only thing that looks good enough to eat. Outside, meanwhile, seen on the clearest of days, a false sun never dims.

The Common Guild, Glasgow until Sat 2 Aug.

Hayley Tompkins

Work by gallery artist, previously presented at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Tompkins' painted objects reconfigure relationships to commonplace items.

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