15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
15/11/2022
To Do
Jelena Sofronijevic
A Real Horror Show: The Creepy and Uncanny in the Capital
We recommend three spine-chilling exhibitions showing now in London...

Halloween might be over, but the capital is still lingering in fear. At Somerset House, the basement Embankment Galleries play the perfect (g)host for The Horror Show!, a delicious nightmare from co-curators Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, where horror archetypes are matched with three eras from the past – monsters for the 1970s and 1980s, ghosts in the 1990s-2000s, and our re-enchantment by witchcraft today. 

Adopting the more accessible language of horror – the ‘hollow’ nature of Cool Britannia, ‘zombie’ neoliberalism, and how HIV ‘haunted’ a generation - The Horror Show! retells post-war British history as rather more sinister, showing truth as stranger than fiction.

‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and it begins, a monochromatic time warp with music as its pulsing lifeblood. Merch, memorabilia, and paranormal paraphernalia dominate the space, opening with Philip Castle’s pencil sketches for A Clockwork Orange (1972).

David Bowie absorbs almost all the credit for ‘changing a generation of teenagers, forever,’ – but we also see Richard Allan’s Glam, and playbills from The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut at King’s Road Theatre (1973-1979), both of which predate his Diamond Dogs by a year. Later explorations of punk, sex, and fashion include more women artists like Vivienne Westwood and Poly Styrene, plus the likes of Don Letts’ Acme Attractions. 

Observer Magazine. Ralph Steadman (1986)

Things get more explicitly political and grotesque from the 1980s. Still, The Horror Show is neither nostalgic, nor stuck in its time. Each overlapping section includes interpretations across media from artists practising today, like Andrew Liles’ illustrated stairs, or Laura Grace Ford’s 2022 sonic illustration, shining light on those ‘hiding in the black spots that neoliberalism has failed to assimilate’.

We also see how 20th century horror influenced itself, in productions and reproductions. Jeremy Millar’s ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (The Willows)’ (2010) draws on Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 story of the same name. Roald Dahl’s The Witches and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ are both presented alongside their film adaptations by Nicolas Roeg (1990 and 1973 respectively).

Collection of Items Belonging to Nicolas Roeg 

‘Ghosts’ delves into our contemporary disembodiment through technology, indulging (in music, again) with an AKAI S950 sampler beneath the stretched out ‘oohs-aahs’ of A Guy Called Gerald’s 1989 track ‘Voodoo Ray’. Indeed, The Horror Show! really shines in its emphasis on the popular, whether Spitting Image, The Mighty Boosh, or the eleven-million strong turnout for BBC’s Ghostwatch, released as a ‘new breed’ of TV and music directors seeking paranormal inspiration.  

Art here is referenced as a balancing force. Take ‘Mini Emin Bonds’ (1995) in which Tracey Emin typifies the Young British Artists’ awareness of the commodification of their practice through the art market. Earlier – though later in the exhibition - Leonora Carrington sculptures reveal how movements like surrealism have always sought to establish alternative realities. 

Theatre, film, and performance art leak into the finale ‘Witches’, with an explicitly feminist lens. Above all, the posters of Jane Arden’s radical theatre and film push back against the posthumous obscurity she sadly endured until the late 2000s. (‘Why are we taught to fear the witches and not those who burnt them alive?’, demand the t-shirts stacked in the shop.)

Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven Poster, Jane Arden (1970-1971)

The penultimate nod to the upturned hourglass – the so-called ‘symbol of our era’ – might seem a fatalistic end to this tale. But as with all horror, there is hope, and the exhibition concludes with a neon call to ‘ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT.’ 

Captioned as a story book, The Horror Show! is spooky and incredibly smart. Just as horror has always been used to articulate the alternative, so too this proposes an alternative way of how art could be curated in the public consciousness.

Take a short walk in Lindsey Mendick’s ceramic Crocs, a contemporary addition to the Somerset House show, over the bridge to the Hayward Gallery. Strange Clay shows how the material can create uncanny objects, one thing pretending to be another, with an international (as always) array of spooky ceramics. (Plastics, currently on display at the V&A Dundee, share an eerie, contradictory quality – disposable, but also omnipresent, scarcely degradable, and more often used to freeze time in Tupperware and film.)

Here, Peruvian artist David Zink Yi wrestles with the cross-cultural fascination with Architeuthis, the fourteen-metre-long giant squid never seen alive until 2004. In this iteration, it sits in a pool of ink made from imported corn syrup, to prevent visitors from getting too close.  Downstairs, Liu Jianhua’s thousand-porcelain ‘Regular/Fragile’ (2002-2003) comprises hung white memorials to the young boy, his toys left floating at sea after an aviation disaster in China.

Far from here, Klara Kristalova (2022)

Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye employs pre-colonial ideas of ancestral clownship, subverting the derogatory term absiyazi (rubbish) in her recycled sculptures. And Strange Clay is crowned by Klara Kristalova’s Swedish fairytale, which smells as good as it seems. Eighteen stoneware figures - a woman emerging from a tree, a boar-headed boy, an empty headed person gazing far into the distance – sit solemnly in their hilly landscape, all captured in a ceramic state of transformation.

But Mendick is Strange Clay’s star. The artist – who is rapidly and deservedly getting more attention since Frieze, and the sensational Off With Her Head at Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate – plays on more personal, everyday horrors. Using humour as her defence mechanism, she stages the power struggles of her ‘lockdown hell’ through nature at war, with Napoleonic slugs, Trojan rats, bees, bugs, and octopi climbing out from the bog. Each receives her typical attention to detail, the tiny chewed-through wires as haunting as her creeping crawlies.

LEFT: Pickle Pie, Rebecca Parkin (2020) | RIGHT: Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

‘My father didn’t know if it was good, but he thought it was funny,’ she says, conscious of making – and enjoying – accessible art. She frequently draws on popular horror sources; her recent installation ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (2019-2020) comments on the sexism critiqued in the Charlotte Perkins Gilman story that serves as its namesake, as well as the same sexism displayed in the creation of The Shining (1980).

Till Death Do Us Part, Lindsey Mendick (2022)

But for horror film fans, Rebecca Parkin’s exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection  is unmissable. The London-based painter draws on fan art, science fiction, and cosplay, co-opting pop culture’s typical tropes of the sexualised women in pop culture for her own subversive portraits. In pastel and pigment, her ongoing Green Woman series empowers its subjects, tackling the eroticised trope of the demonic femme.

As with all exhibitions in the Invites series, the artist shapes the curation and staging of their own works. Here, Parkin instals skulls with googly eyes, skeletal nods to the influence of seventeenth century Dutch painting on her practice. She adds red chiffon curtains to the church architecture, cinematic touches to the ‘Witchsploitation’ of stylised Italian giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s.

Such immersive curation recalls (again) Mendick’s Margate installation. (By coincidence, Mendick has also worked with Heather Phillipson, an early career Invites alumna.) ‘The popular styles and tropes from the horror and science fiction genres are not only entertaining and seductive, but they are also accessible to many,’ she writes, echoing Mendick’s own attitudes towards access in art. It’s a nod to horror’s universal appeal – one which certainly goes well beyond 31 October. 

The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is on view at Somerset House until 19 February 2023. 

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is on view at the Hayward Gallery until 8 January 2023.

Invites: Rebecca Parkin is on view at the Zabludowicz Collection until 18 December 2022. 

‍‍Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app with every exhibition you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
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