Exhibition Preview: Caroline Walker – In Every Dream Home a Heartache, PM Gallery, London, until September 8 2013
David Hockney no longer has the monopoly on sun-drenched swimming pools. Scottish artist Walker is also making a splash with her ominous scenes of summer in the suburbs.
© Caroline Walker
But unlike the poppy and homoerotic compositions to come out of California during the 1960s and 1970s, Walker creates a sense of voyeurism and foreboding.
Perhaps that is the effect of her all-female cast. Women lay by the pool. Women lay in bed. A young girl sits on a slide. A female gardener tends the lush greenery. Swimwear abounds, which adds to your sense these dream home residents are vulnerable to our gaze.
Although these scenes are set in better climes than our own, they are well in keeping with the gallery space at Pitzhanger Manor. Designed by architect John Soane in 1800, this was once a dream home, albeit one with residents in a lesser state of undress.
Walker has a glossy realist style which complements the plush settings. With suggestive titles such as Seance and Red Sky at Morning, a sense of narrative is inevitable.
If so, you might think of something scripted by JG Ballard. Walker’s dystopian vision is an equally seductive one.
- Open 1pm-5pm. Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @soanesvilla.