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Michael Donnelly and Janet McEwan: Salt Gallery
Two artists using clothing as the central motif in their work were shown alongside each other at the Salt Gallery at the beginning of the Summer.
Michael Donnelly showed a collection of photographs of richly coloured cloth. Immaculately printed and framed, they took the names of famous paintings by renaissance artists like Titian and Caravaggio. In fact the cloth had been dyed by Donnelly to match the colour of the drapery in the old masters paintings. These paintings were often based on classical themes, and so the colours had special significance and meaning.
Janet McEwan filled the front room with shoes and shoeboxes, such that from the street it looked like a shoe-shop. In fact the shoes were almost identical sandals made from stones with plastic straps added, such that they would have been impractical and indeed painful to wear.
The shoes referred to the way art can give solidity to something otherwise transient and intangible. They seemed to also symbolise the way that we become rooted to a particular landscape or place, such that leaving them becomes impossible, except in our imaginations.
This theme was further explored by McEwan in the text on the wall and an audio-recording on headphones in which a number of people were interviewed about their favourite places in Cornwall.