Panya Clark Espinal The Visitor
21 April – 10 June 2001

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Taking a lesson from Martha Stewart, Panya Clark Espinal has explored the interior spaces of everyday domestic objects such as a wardrobe, a hatbox, a pail, a typewriter box, a suitcase and a small vanity to create new forms using colour and shaped dividers. Clark Espinal, however, departs from Stewart's advice, which obsessively looks at banal containers as storage for an over abundance of things. By contrast, the artist's modified containers are empty—utterly devoid of any objects. They trigger a sense of expectation as to what they could potentially house. As writer Ruth Kerkham says, "They are latent with the possibilities of imagined locales and events. In Diva (1999-2000), for example, a vintage armoire opens up onto an operatic architectural panorama, and in Hedonist (2000) a rough timber chest reveals an illusory world of sultry escape where Mediterranean villas and swimming pools ramble up a sun-baked hill."

Encouraging viewers to interact with the pieces by opening the doors and drawers, the artist sets up an equivocal sense of anticipation, inviting viewers to visit the intricate corners of their own imaginations.

This current body of work shifts away from Clark Espinal's general use of found imagery to found objects, and unlike much of her previous works, The Visitor was created in her studio without a specific context in mind. Yet the unique space of Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens seems the ideal place for Clark Espinal's manipulated objects and as the artist states, "A big part of it is that the objects are domestically scaled and are themselves domestic objects...I just think the architectural elements will suit these particular pieces."

Curated by Marnie Fleming