Brian Griffiths - Borrowed World, Borrowed Eyes

Brian Griffiths
Brian Griffiths
Brian Griffiths Borrowed World, Borrowed Eyes Installation view, Tramway, August 2013 Courtesy the artist and Vilma Gold, London Photo: Keith Hunter

Like an empty, abandoned building that wears its past life lightly, once you start to look, the shades of grey in this oddly moving exhibition just keep on coming.

The Herald
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For his most ambitious solo exhibition to date, Borrowed World, Borrowed Eyes, Griffiths has created an installation of delicate monumentality and bleak fragility, staged with pathos and deadpan humour. Responding to the industrial scale of Tramway's main gallery space, Griffiths showcases a mammoth field of sculptures that become space fillers, insistent objects to be skirted around or get lost in. The artist uses the giant space as a foil; a classic double act where the industrial scale is emphasised and its cavernous height is made to press on the sculptures and the audience. The gallery is transformed into a maze-like space featuring a field of geometric sculptures, each shrouded in worn, painted, patched and stitched tarpaulins. Using minimal means the work aspires to evoke emotions, setting up a sensitive play of fallible shifting surfaces and clarity of form.

This new body of work furthers the artist's investigations into the narrative potential of objects, and considers modes of storytelling and staging via a restrained visual language and grammar. The sculptures themselves are ‘fabricated found objects’ - hybrids of produced/manufactured units and personal/lovingly handmade surfaces. These canvas coverings form expressive yet understated surfaces reminiscent of patched utility objects and things that have been touched by time. Dressed up in their worn and torn fabric, the objects ask the viewer to look at them, into them, to fill the gaps; they appear rather make-shift forms, temporary, used up, insufficient even.  These beautifully dishevelled objects, saggy and low slung attempt to summon up the melancholy, pathos and absurdity of being an object in a shifting world of other contained objects.