PAPER, STEEL, PAPER - Exhibition
The Exhibition Paper, Steel, Paper was shown at 20/21 Visual Art Centre, Scunthorpe from 7th October to 25th December 2006. The exhibition consisted of a large scale installation made from recycled cardboard, paper, steel can and plastic bottle bales. A DVD called 1 Chimney was projected in the Bell Tower of the gallery (originally a late 19 century church) and two earlier paper wall works were included. The exhibition was concerned with the every day and that which we take for granted. Examining the local steel industries sublime beauty and at the same time questioning its waste, recycling and pollution. The works were monumental and dramatic and were constructed to compliment the grand architecture of the gallery. The materials generously supplied by Kimberly–Clark Limited and Gainsborough Recycling Enterprises were returned to the companies at the end of the show to be recycled. The exhibition will tour to at least two other venues and the work will be made from materials supplied by local recycling companies.
Stockwell shares the steady unsentimentality of her gaze upon what she sees around her - in this case industrial architecture - with these predecessors. But, by bringing her film of chimneys into the gallery she also allows us to witness them in everyday use, to wonder at the plumes of smoke, steam and flame unravelling from the funnels. There is a sense of fear at the violence of the processes that belch out such by products, and awe at the dirty enormity of the industries that are still essential to us. And there is also, as in so much of Stockwell’s art, a certain grandeur that belies the base nature of her materials, poetic intimations of loss and transience, and the deep pleasures of observation and reflection.