by Chantal

Back to London yesterday to mix up more champagne punch for another late night opening at the Traces & Testament show. Visitors doing the gallery rounds as part of FIRST WEDNESDAYS (thanks Salon Contemporary!) were treated to a Victorian Magic Lantern show when they got to us. Lanternists Rene and Allan did a fantastic job and their magical collection of glass slides was a perfect complement to the artwork.

Before catching the train back to Southampton the following morning I just had time to pop into Sprueth Magers to view the Cornell / Kilimnik show that I have been longing to see. Joseph Cornell and Karen Kilimnik are two artists who have been very inspirational to my own work and they make a perfect magical pairing in a show that had a beautiful childlike wonder and innocence. Some of the Cornell boxes were new to me and it was a real treat to see them up close and personal. It got me thinking once again about the powerful image of boxes and their association with secrets and the way they can elevate their contents to the status of something precious needing to be preserved. Kilimnik continues to inspire me with her unapologetic childlike sense of theatrics and romanticism. The gallery walls were painted midnight blue and dusted with glitter while the soundtrack to Swan Lake played throughout. It is a show whose sum is definitely more than its parts. It offers what I want to bring in my own work –  the creation of a wonderfully seductive imaginary world.

Karen Kilimnik Installation at Sprueth Magers

Joseph Cornell at Sprueth Magers