This Saturday, The Sound of Cutlery opened at Linden Hall Studio. A show featuring the works of Jim Moir AKA Vic Reeves, and Steve Thomas, a veteran of Chelsea Arts School whose work has included Biba and London Transport. Jim has been making artwork since the 80s alongside his comedy and TV work.
Steve Thomas’s kaleidoscopic pieces are packed with colour and intricate elements. Jim Moir’s works are bizarre and absurdist, caricatures of celebrities like the Britain’s got talent judges and darker images of baboon and gorilla skulls. On paper the pairing shouldn’t work, the crazy absurdism of Jim’s work mixed with the precise technical nature of Steve’s. However it’s a fantastic duet, with both using bright and beautiful colours that speak to collaboration. The confronting nature of the two styles play off each other to great success, the opposing nature of each brings out the best in the other. They both tell us not to take the world too seriously, making fun of the every day and celebrating its beauty. A sense of humour ever present- obviously a basis for the pair’s friendship.
Steve’s piece Helvetica is a favourite of ours. It recreates the way sunlight streams through the shutters of a blind. The dancing light pouring through the gallery windows on the lovely autumn day really added to this effect. As with most of Steve’s work there’s more than meets the eye. There’s a link between the seemingly unrelated collection of objects. The Swiss cheese, Swiss Mondaine clock and a Swiss cheese plant. It’s title, Helvetica, a typeface which got it’s name from the latin word for ‘swiss’.
Among Jim’s bold and expressive works, he takes a more restrained look at some local scenes. Including Shakespeare Cliff and Deal’s own Timeball Tower. The colours are unexpected, a flash of orange highlighting the building and a pale pink sky overhead, a striking depiction and unique take on one of Deal’s most recognisable landmarks.
Often shows can be restricted by the need to convey a theme, by the end you feel like you know what’s coming next. Unencumbered by any restrictions of subject or aesthetic, the artists are free to explore whatever they choose. The result is a show with great variety, unpredictability and delight. A credit to the two artists we’re lucky to have in our community.
You can see the Sound of Cutlery at Linden Hall Studio until November 25th. To close out the show Steve Thomas is holding a talk at the gallery about his work on Big Biba, on November 23rd.