One Of lancaster’s lesser-known secrets is its art galleries. Take The Vault, tucked away in the basement of a bar on Chuch Street, not enough people know it is there. It may not be the biggest, but its latest show is one of the more interesting things in town right now.
Holding On: Forever is the work of Tom Ireland and Fiona Shaw, working separately yet in synch with a shared attitude and viewpoint. Self-described as a ‘series of objects as a document of self-mythologising fact at a specific moment in time’ most of the 8 pieces on show combined the manufactured and the random as well as interacting with the unique environment of The Vault.
The most striking piece is Tom Ireland’s Grissom an exploded ball of tin foil, hundreds of layers combined to huge size then literally sawn and ripped open cabbage-like. Described by one viewer as an abstract representation of a huge rotting log, I saw a silver glacier at its heart, until I heard Tom speak of his interest in space: then I knew it as a nebula.
That same echo of infinity lies in the placement of another of Ireland’s works, his overtly spermatozoid light piece heading into the near invisible apex of the brilliant white room. Fiona Shaw claimed only to have completed her work a few hours before the opening, and re-arranged one piece midway through the viewing. She said she was unhappy with her execution of the gemoetric structure she described as an ‘attempt at a modernist wreath’. Whilst i could see why she might think so, I am not so sure that a more precise construction would have been as effective. It’s human errors were the element of randomness to match its formality. Indeed the whole show had an air of constructed randomness, an oxymoronic blurring of the edges of exhibit and space in a most intriguing manner.
(Photos by Wes Martin)