Sarah Stanton - Nor Work

Outpost Gallery, Wensum Street, Norwich

> Outpost Gallery, Wensum Street, Norwich

This exhibition features a thoroughly torpid series of paintings created by Sarah Staton, in response to the decor of a 1930s building that houses Sheffield Central Library and Graves Art Gallery.

They depict furniture, lighting and even storage in a style that purposely thwarts perspective convention, and Staton selects inert colours that flatten the picture plane and further obstruct spatial interpretation.

Staton was invited to create two new sculptures specifically for the gallery, and the resulting pieces are constructed by stacking coffee table-like forms.


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Billed as 'towers', a description I would challenge, these pieces are particularly disappointing.

The sheer lack of monumentality, combined with the fact that Staton has chosen to do little more than coat the MDF board thinly in lacklustre paint, means the pieces lack impact and interest.

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Arguably she has subverted expectation by offsetting the legs on the circular tower, thus preventing employment as a useful surface and hand crafting the rectangular nestle in the style of mass production. But I was more entertained by the gallery information sheet, which includes a conversation with the artist endeavouring to contextualise the many imperfections and clumsy brushmarks in her work.

I managed to summon a modicum of enthusiasm for Painting 8, which featured an accretion spelling 'SCULTPURE' (sic) as if reflected in the mirror.

Positioned significantly higher on the wall, the work suggests a towering skyscraper, the stylised lettering evoking micro office blocks. This relief addition imbues the work with a certain interest and contemplating the possible intent of the misspelling may at least alleviate visual inertia.

t Until March 20, open Wed-Sun 12-6pm.

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