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Tabloid tales at Londonís Gallery 102.Eng-er-land, curated by Cathy Lomax, is one of this summerís best shows of new and emerging artists. Plaster-cast native birds, garden gnomes with erections, portraits of the royal family and glamour model Jordan offer a serious yet entertaining take on Englishness.
Highlights include Russell Herronís installation, which presents every magazine cover Jordan has appeared on, laid out as a chronological snapshot of her career. Jo Wilmotís work degrades the sincerity of traditional landscape painting - expressive marks depict country estates where a g-string hangs from a rose bush or a champagne bottle lies on the lawn disturbing a perceived politeness.
Stella Vine, having been hyped as 2003ís next big thing, presents an imposing portrait of Abi Titmuss. Looking wide-eyed and innocent, itís as if Vine is telling the viewer that she too could be more then an overnight sensation. This exhibition locates Englishness somewhere between celebrity obsessed tabloid culture and a need to debase its conservative traditions.
Gemma De Cruz
Eng-er-land is at Gallery 102, London, until 27 August 05.
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