This Spring I went to see Annette Messagers retrospective at the Hayward in London. (For review, see link) I had first been introduced to her work at the Liverpool Biennal and was most impressed by her sense of theatre in a disused cinema. Her use of discarded objects and toys and making them centre stage. I loved the fairytale nature of many of her pieces particularly the coffin-like glass cases of of children’s clothes in ‘Story of Dressses’ and the animated, deconstructed stuffed toys and animals. The movement of shape, texture and colour in her work has this relationship with automata, toy theatre and puppetry in a distorted view of life and death,and all the world.
I also really loved the peep show of ‘the Private Room’ into the private world of scrapbooks and journals, validating my own practice of obsessively collecting and collating images into many piles of books. She has a child like sense of play, finding her identity through role playing the Collector, Handywoman, Trickster, Practical Woman aswell as Artist, and creates her own visual language through her choice of manipulated materials.
‘All artists are tricksters. they take elements of reality and make their own arrangements with them…’