Surreal installations by Georgina Porteous at Glasgow Arches

By Culture24 Staff | 09 February 2009
A picture of a clear chandelier held on strings with blue pieces inside

Georgina Porteous has crafted a speculum chandelier. Pic courtesy The Arches

Exhibition: Georgina Porteous – 10.32am Airgold Place, The Arches, Glasgow, until March 17 2009

The first four disciplines the prodigious Georgina Porteous cites as her weapons of choice – photography, video, perspex and wood – mark the short boundary within which she could appear to be an orthodox artist.

Grass, mustard seed and string, hot water bottles, chastity belts, baby bottle teets, squirrel embryos, helium and formaldehyde are next up, and then there’s a fountainesque tunnel to an underbelly world (that’s the actual name of the piece) based on a 13-week foetus and umbilical cord and a chandelier made up of vaginal speculums.

There’s a hint of the female anatomy and childbirth at work here. “My inspiration has come from my sons’ memories of the womb,” she explains. “I have gone on to explore childbirth and emotions that come from these experiences.”

The Honours show with which she recently gained a first class degree from Moray School of Art was picked for the New Contemporaries show at the Royal Scottish Academy this year.

“I see myself as a spatial artist using mixed media,” she says. "In my work I use a combination of found objects, automatic drawing and writing. Some of my objects are familiar yet taking them out of their context can render them unrecognisable. Their purpose can be questioned.”

“Part of Porteous’s strength as an artist is that she is able to bring an internal landscape of human experience and memory to the surface in her drawings, sculpture, installation and video work,” adds critic Georgina Colburn.

“She causes us to question that which we assume we see, and the act of seeing itself.”

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