Come Carnival: Works by Markéta Luskačová and Francis West at London's Piper Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 May 2013

Exhibition preview: Come Carnival, The Piper Gallery, London, until June 7 2013

A photo of people walking along a field dressed as huge skeletons and carnivalesque animals
Markéta Luskačová, Dragon, Death and Other People (2006)© Courtesy Markéta Luskačová / The Piper Gallery
There are, as this show admits, a “very different” set of starting points between Markéta Luskačová’s immersive photographs of the ritualism of Czech carnival and the recent charcoal, pencil and pastel paintings by Francis West, described as a “Pandora’s Box of shape-shifting beings” and “vivid, imaginary scenes”.

The fierce creative energy of all things carnivalesque is a certain commonality. Between these photos and drawings lies the mystical, demonic and divine among humans, gods, beasts and mysterious figures in costumes or masks.

West’s drawings aim for the mythical and ecstatic. Luskačová is a lover of the untamed and celebratory. Together, they cast ritualism and performance under playful new lights.

“I was struck by the familiar forms that independently appear and appeal to both,” says Megan Piper, of the gallery.

“One artist has the ability to capture the innocent and focused faces of children, their sense of surprise and wonder as imagination comes to life, as well as the combined energy of the group.

“The other has the power to imagine and depict similarly dramatic scenes, where human-animal figures metamorphosise.

“The photographs and drawings are as alive as each other.

“Some are pensive and contemplative, while others have an energy and vitality that extends beyond the confines of the page.”


More pictures:

A black and white photo of people dressed as horses
Markéta Luskačová, Children with Horse-face Masks (2006)© Courtesy Markéta Luskačová / The Piper Gallery
A black and white photo of people in scary fancy dress
Markéta Luskačová© Courtesy Markéta Luskačová / The Piper Gallery
A photo of a black line drawing of theatrical carnival figures
Francis West, Beyond Your Window (2008)© Courtesy Francis West / The Piper Gallery
A photo of a black line drawing of theatrical carnival figures
Francis West, Lost Classic (2006)© Courtesy Francis West / The Piper Gallery
A photo of an abstract colour and black line drawing of various people and animals
Francis West, Through a Glass Darkly. Charcoal and pastel on paper© A photo of a black line drawing of theatrical carnival figures
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