ROXY TOPIA & PADDY GOULD ‘Great Pretenders’

8 – 24 July

Paddy: ‘Lost my shape. Trying to act casual.’ That’s David Byrne right?
Roxy: Right, quite appropriate! I was thinking of how the fabrics and the ceramics were made side by side and how the process of layering our drawings in photoshop (to make the fabric designs) began to influence the way that we dealt with the ceramics.
Paddy: Yes, which we sloppily dipped in glaze, often at random, with the outcomes becoming the basis for the painting we did on top.
Roxy: It wasn’t long before it all just started to overlap and elements were combined. Just when something could be left alone it was transformed into something else.
Paddy: This kind of conflation between mediums which to me is a bit more like how everything from shower gel to a beefburger can share the latest boutique flavours. There’s a pleasure in that lack of definition, in all that sharing.  It could be seen negatively because it’s partly a will to a reduced existence, but I think it’s more complicated and layered than that.
Roxy: Yeah, it can also be a positive thing, an embracing of fluidity.  Or seeing the confusing, superabundance of today’s world as a cause for laughter. But I think that we are also trying to work through these weird times of us all creating content, existing in some kind of trancelike state, clicking, commenting and being devoured by this constant activity. This dangerous enjoyment of being devoured. Anyway perhaps that brings us to the drawings.
Paddy: The original drawings we did varied, some were like odd landscapes or of intimate moments but then we decided to kind of obliterate them with the making of the fabrics. So as a viewer you have no real understanding of this original content. I mean who really wants that content anyway, apart from us?
Roxy: Well we just created some other content by cutting it all up, compressed it into something else. The fabric sculptures seem to me like costumes for big doodles.
Paddy: I think the ceramics are playing dress up, all accessorised. The paint takes on a sensibility akin to makeup, a cosmetic revamping of a ceramic object that is really a variation on a kind of vessel with no base.
Roxy: Yeah, trouble holding some stuff in… I mean, we’re all playing dress up, particularly in making Art. Like Brian Eno says on pretension “..pretending is the most important thing we do. It’s the way we make our thought experiments, find out what it would be like to be otherwise.”
Paddy: Should we mention anything else?
Roxy: Erm at the last show someone mentioned that Gilliam film Brazil.
Paddy: Lets leave em with that.

*Talking Heads song- ‘Crosseyed and Painless’, 1980.