Opening event: June 8th 6.30-8.30.
Diamonds are forever … Seen through these St. Laurent glasses And I’ve realized that I’ve arrived. Kanye West, from Late Registration
A Space Station Sixty-Five Window Project Viewed from the street 24 hours.
In the crystalline animated world of Sarah Doyle, The Nexus Treatment whirls and sparkles forever and ever. Counter intuitively utilising a hand made methodology, and consciously eschewing technological processes Doyle has crafted a Victorianesque hall of mirrors, with images taken from popular culture.
In the often rarefied realm of pedantic high art Doyle’s constituency is a revolutionary one. She passionately and precisely studies and reveals the complex codes of young teenagers. Trawling through outdated hip hop videos, talking to and working with her younger siblings she identifies the ‘watch me now’ shapes and movements which signify a universal need to belong, to be part of a group to fit in and to show off.
Doyle’s appropriation of this world, however, is no cheap holiday, there is an immersion and identification with it which goes back to her own experience of arriving in England as a teenager having been brought up in Africa. Unaware of the prevailing popular culture signifiers, references to TV shows, and imperceptible shifts in style she found herself to be ‘uncool’ an outsider.
Her work meshes this yearning to belong, with a magical kaleidescopia of desire. The looped hand drawn images revealed in the facets of the spinning jewelled mirrors, when cut from their original meaning, take on a hypnotic quality. Like tarnished ballerinas on the top of a music box, Doyle’s tough girls dance for eternity in their strangely compelling cabinet of curiosities.
The Nexus Treatment is based on the title of a salon sign Doyle found near her home in South London. When googled, Doyle was amazed to find that it was revealed to be ‘an organization that designs and operates treatment programs for a wide range of child and adolescent problems’ and it was also ‘a conditioning treatment used on Afro hair to make it more silky and straight like Caucasian hair’. Both meanings strangely reverberated with the artist’s work. ‘I really liked the name’ says Doyle ‘ it sounded futuristic and with the nexus meaning the centre of focus it fitted with the work I had in mind’
Mixing futuristic elements and contemporary cultural references with clunky hobbyesque machinery, The Nexus Treatment signposts not only novel methods of art production but also introduces new places from where that work can be made.
Sarah Doyle’s previous work has used other forms of dead media such as using records to create drawing tools. She is currently studying the phenomena of ‘Ragdoll Jewellery’ a type of expensive jewellery worn by people who are not from wealthy backgrounds. A graduate of Central St Martins, Doyle has shown internationally, in Japan and recently at the Michael Jackson gallery in Germany. Her recent animation work was shown at the Whitechapel gallery as part of the Late Nights Programmed/Penned in the Margins. She was part of Splashdown for Space Station Sixty-Five during Whitstable Biennale 2006 and she will be undertaking a commission for Space Station Sixty-Five during 2008. Sarah Doyle lives and works in London.
Alex Michon is an artist and writer. She is director of Transition Gallery. She writes for Garageland, and is the editor of Arty and Critical Friend. She is currently writing a ‘rockabilly stitch-up’ about her time working with Bernard Rhodes and the Clash.