MK Gallery presented the most comprehensive exhibition in the UK by artist Cathy Wilkes. Born and raised in Belfast, Wilkes is one of a generation of artists who was educated in Glasgow and emerged at the forefront of British visual arts practice the mid 1990s. The exhibition, which comprised new and recent work, was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.
Wilkes' work is characterised by the creation of a slowly emerging, distinctively personal vocabulary of sculptures and paintings which she makes and re-makes in evolving assemblages and environments. Her processes are measured and refined, drawing on the most intimate of personal experiences to create a compelling autobiographical thread, coupled with a precise and liberated formal language. Wilkes confidently and unapologetically selects the most abject and awkward of domestic, everyday objects; a widescreen Sony television, a Maclaren's push chair or a jar of Bonne Mamam apricot preserve have all been incorporated in Wilkes' expansive installations.
Sunday Film Screenings
Every Sunday throughout the exhibition period, a DVD of Wilkes' short film Most Women Never Experience (2005, 4 mins 10 secs) was shown, looped, in the first floor events room. The film, which commences with a musical prelude of tribalesque drumming, serves as a portrait of house-wifery, one that is suggestive of a more secret life amidst the everyday pace of things, that only reveals itself through the peculiar space-time dynamic that Wilkes creates.
Talk Back on Saturday 26 April, was an informal half hour discussion-based tour of the exhibition for visitors with members of the Gallery education team.
In Conversation on Wednesday 14th May, 7-8pm was a discussion of Cathy Wilkes' work between Curator and writer Polly Staple and Gill Perry, Professor and Head of Art History at The Open University.
This exhibition was supported by The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation. Artist's fee supported by The Elephant Trust.