February 11 – March 18
firstsite, contemporary art colchester, @ the minories art gallery, 74 high street, colchester, t 01206 577067, firstname.lastname@example.org
open monday to saturday 10am - 5pm
Coined by the zoo owner Carl Hagenback, it has developed into a principle, adopted by almost every zoo world wide, as a humane and attractive way to display animals while creating in the viewer the illusion of compassionate captivity.
|Progress by Andrew Bracey|
Bracey uses this heritage of purpose as both a method to examine Zoos and to encourage a new attitude among the visitors to firstsite during the exhibition of his artwork at the leading contemporary gallery.
In recent years Bracey has made a name for himself name for himself (sometimes literally, he's created his signature in neon) through his prolific passion for painting. In the past he has taken everyday materials and turned them into abstract paintings.
A landmark work was his decision to spend a year painting hundreds of nail heads with different painting styles. When, gently, hammered into a wall "They can be viewed as a load of nails,” he said, “individually as separate paintings or on mass as a big dot painting.”
Bracey is keen that his work is seen in the context of painting in order that it can be discussed in that language.
Bracey has suffered for his art. The MA Graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University put on weight after spending a year eating pistachio nuts every day to paint on the shells, and he also slipped a disc after bending over a painting all day.
For firstsite his work relates to his new interest in Zoos, and in particular Colchester Zoo. Especially the idea of enclosure and how we view and walk through a zoo. Work on show in the exhibition will tend towards the small and the subtle. The viewer will have to explore to find items as illusive as a camera shy red panda - while others will be more significant.
Small video screens parody of the portholes into the penguin enclosure, other site-specific dioramas will give the viewer a different impression depending on what angle they are viewed from. The fascinating work riddles the building, forcing visitors to look at the act of looking and being looked at.
Andrew Bracey has artwork displayed in collections in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Dubai.