Subversive, anarchic and satirical, Carrie Reichardt’s (aka The Baroness) exhibition at the Ink_d Gallery, Brighton, seeks to subvert, satirise and anarchize traditional ceramics. Aptly named ‘Mad in England’, Reichardt’s show twists the quaint and twee of Britain with a rebellious aesthetic.
Reichardt is famed for her ability to radicalise heritage arts & craft techniques, mosaics and ceramics. Sourcing the rare and the chintzy, Reichardt attacked a series of Coronation-celebratory plates with transfers of cartoon characters and animal imagery. Replacing Monarch’s heads with an Ape is not what one might call subtle, but it’s eye-catching and persuasive. Playing with the Chapman brother’s concept of genteel-meets-dystopia, Reichardt’s bizarre and comical insight into ‘Cruel Britannia’ is eccentric and perfectly timed with the hysteria of the Royal Wedding.
Reichardt is a member of the Craftivist Movement. Inspired by William Morris and his development in the Arts & Craft tradition, Reichardt too uses her skills to voice social injustice and the requisite of human rights. Driving around in her ‘Tiki Love Truck’ – a mosaicked and tiled mobile mausoleum – a homage to her dear friend, John Joe ‘Ash’ Amador, Reichardt’s work is personal with an honest voice.
Stamping her ideology on mosaic ensembles, tiles and graffiti cans, Reichardt’s work is definitely controversial. Undermining religion, mocking the graffiti-fine-art debate and the genteel air of porcelain plates with burlesque transfers and provocative wording, the show is enthralling and provocative.
The gallery is open to the public from Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm. Sundays 12 – 4pm (during exhibition dates).
From 11 March to 10 April, 2011
96 North Road, Brighton, BN1 6YE
Words by Lucy Morris