Culture 24, The sensory underworld of Cathie Pilkington and Jay Cloth heads to Space Station Sixty Five



Levitating Doll Cathie Pilkington



Exhibition: Misericord, Space Station Sixty-Five, London, February 25 – May 1 2011.



“Both artists have a knack for creating an intense response in the viewer – almost to the point of overload, like holding down all the keys on a church organ,” observes curator Jo David, discussing this distinctly northern collaboration of a show between Manchester lass Cathie Pilkington and Lancashire fancy dress lover Jay Cloth.

“I feel that all my buttons are being pushed at once, but never tipping over the edge into absolute parody or grotesquery. I am at once aware of my response to the work and distracted from that by the seduction of it.”

“Both artists have a knack for creating an intense response in the viewer – almost to the point of overload, like holding down all the keys on a church organ,” observes curator Jo David, discussing this distinctly northern collaboration of a show between Manchester lass Cathie Pilkington and Lancashire fancy dress lover Jay Cloth.

“I feel that all my buttons are being pushed at once, but never tipping over the edge into absolute parody or grotesquery. I am at once aware of my response to the work and distracted from that by the seduction of it.”
Mentored by former Turner Prize contender Paula Rego (“when I came to Cathie's work, I felt it had been in me all along”, she says), impish sculptor Pilkington has used painting, craft and imagery from tacky souvenirs and children’s books in the “wunderkammer” underworld she has constructed with Cloth, a 40-year-old known for manning the door at infamous London nightclub Duckie while donning a range of unnerving costumes.

His profane collages are wrought from vintage colour lithographs into a final, unsettling Technicolor glory.

“For a long time I was too nervous to talk to Jay at Duckie,” confesses co-curator Rachael House.

“I could only gaze in awe at him in his grotesque finery. I wasn’t so scared of Cathie until I saw her work. I have enormous admiration for these two artists and I eagerly wait to see what remarkable chemistry takes place when they join forces for Misericord.”

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