We took a couple of our St Dunstaners to Fabrica on Tuesday16th November. Fabrica is now an art exhibition space that used to be a church. Some of the original features still exist including the font and the stained glass windows. The work exhibited is usually a single contemporary installation piece and there are usually 4 works per year.
This one was called ‘The House of Vernacular’, several collections of photographs selected by curator Martin Parr and put together within several temporary built rooms. We were part of a private tour of the exhibition by Naomi Kendrick for ‘Second Sight’ inviting visually impaired people to explore contemporary art.
The work engaged with post World War 2 International consumerism and austerity, from Brazilian black and white photographs painted with oil colour to the interiors of African dictator’s private jets. The discussion we had afterwards was really interesting how many nations tried to display their wealth and prosperity to the rest of the world. Before walking round the rest of the exhibit we were invited to put on a hat displayed in the first room which looked like a small 1950’s -60’s high street shop. To me it felt a bit like an episode of Mr Benn expecting the shop keeper to appear “as if by magic”.