Can be used over and over
12 December 2014 – 24 January 2015
Can be used over and over, is a solo exhibition by Sarah Poots, recipient of the 2014 Production CCA award.
The exhibition includes a number of paintings of banal, mass-produced objects that are offered for sale online. Amongst the objects depicted in her paintings are a series of plastic moulds and shapes used as pastry cutters; reusable forms used to produce endless versions of the same thing.
Poots’ artistic practice involves mining an online archive of imagery from selling sites such as eBay for particular images of objects that reveal something characteristic of the seller and the decisions made by them – their choice of arrangement, backdrop, and display. The images that Poots selects for her paintings have neither the clinical precision of shop retail or the sophistication of corporate online marketing. They give a sense of being suspended between states of the professional and the provisional, as though the objects themselves were waiting to be re-circulated and re-assigned to new use.
The photographic styles associated with these objects are only one layer of descriptive character that Poots brings to her paintings. Each of the paintings share a similar scale, level of detail, colour density, and delicate application. Through this process of translation between image, object and painting ideas of ownership and authenticity become deliberately entangled with the character of description. In this way Can be used over and over is as much an exhibition of paintings as it is an exhibition about what painting can deliver in a world of online transaction and exchange.
Alongside these new paintings Poots’ has commissioned a number of writers to respond to the same images that she has referenced in her work. These responses are collected in a free publication that accompanies the exhibition, featuring texts by Jan Carson, Anna Coatman, Jack Underwood and Patrick Coyle, with an additional gallery text by Paul O’Kane.
Poots has also invited writer Patrick Coyle to develop a design for the façade of the Caldwell & Robinson building, where CCA is housed. Compounding the words from the title Can be used over and over (which is also taken from one of Coyle’s poems, featured in the publication), Coyle’s design extends across the outfacing window spaces of the building, and over three floors.
Production CCA is the CCA’s annual open call for emerging artists with a connection to Northern Ireland, selected by an international jury. Previous Production CCA artists include Lee Welch, Neil Clements and Dorothy Hunter. Sarah Poots’ work was selected by writer Maria Fusco, curator Remco de Blaaij, and CCA Derry~Londonderry Director Matt Packer.