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Onya McCausland LANDSCAPES

From outside the show looks minimal. Several yellow ochre and red ochre canvasses with geometric designs, very carefully painted. One or two with organic branched designs. Some overhead plans of sites on the floor.
On the back of the price list are grey small print details about mine sites and water treatment although the why and how are not clear. Prices from £1,600 to £10,600.
The artist is ‘working with the Coal Authority to designate five Mine Water Treatment schemes as living paintings that perform the production of ochre, while generating an income for the local economy and producing high quality pigment for artists.’
The images are hung sparsely and look elegant and people are ecstatic about them in the visitors’ book.
Isabelle Bucklow has written an exhibition essay, to my mind contender for art bullshit of the year at 4 pages of pretentious references to Calvino, to ‘porosity between the raw and the cooked’, Freud, Manzoni, Bataille, Nietsche, Whitman, ‘time is not a container but a component, where all is in process, all is song’.,..’McCausland does not halt at the surface, rather she plunges into the depths of terrain entering into a dialogue with that which the earth provides.’
Anima Mundi takes a swerve into geometric abstraction from its usual slightly gruesome expressionism. Succumbing to the St.Ives pervading quiet interior decoration?
Is it all a smugglers’ lantern?

Mary Fletcher

Anima Mundi Gallery, St.Ives, October 20 to December 8 2018

Volume 33 no 4 March / April 2019

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