30 January - 14 February 2009
The Nunnery Gallery, London

18 April - 17 May 2008
Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds

Steve Bishop, Rachel Goodyear, Matt Lippiatt, Pete Smith, Clara Ursitti

Unheimlich brings together the work of five artists whose practice reflects an interest in Freud’s notion of the ‘uncanny’. Freud used this term to explain the phenomenon that occurs when ideas and feelings from childhood, which have become repressed in the adult, are suddenly re-awakened, and the familiar becomes ‘unheimlich’ or unhomely. The artists in this exhibition have created new bodies of work that reveal how we can still be terrorised by the slightest shift in our perceptions.

In Matt Lippiatt’s installations the creative products of a family household, such as personalised birthday cake decorations and teenage fan doodles are juxtaposed with allusions to destructive behavioral patterns. The notion of artists as social outsiders, and the connection between genius and insanity is blurred. Lippiatt is a graduate of Central St. Martins, and now works as a freelance writer.

The effect of sensory perception in defining our mental landscape is central to the work of Clara Ursitti. As the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellow in 2007 Ursitti worked with the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford exploring how a combination of visual and non-visual senses creates meaning and experience for those encountering a work of art.

Rachel Goodyear’s body of work captures glimpses of everyday life seen through an arresting and unfamiliar lens. Burnt gateposts, abandoned clothing and violent images of wild birds and animals, force the viewer to readdress their own experience of suburban life. Goodyear’s drawings have recently been exhibited as part of ‘Made Up’ Tate Liverpool, and she is looking forward to two solo shows at the International 3, and Pippy Houldworth this year.

Steve Bishop is concerned with the tensions between the natural world and the man made. With foxes impaled on neon lights and squirrels submerged in concrete blocks he creates a collision between the wild and the mundane materials of everyday life. Bishop is represented by Pianissimo, Milan, and will be included in Newspeak: ‘British Art Now’ at the Saatchi gallery.

Pete Smith’s complex animated installations grow organically from memories of his childhood and his experience of working in menial roles or on factory floors. Recalling the work of Robert Gober, Jean Tinguely and Gregor Schneider, Smith’s private mental space is abstractly transformed, and disembodied memories are reincarnated into mechanical limbs and endlessly performing automata.

British Counclil
Top: Matt Lippiatt, 'Diving Board', 2008
Bottom: 'Removed from the Eyes of Strangers', installation view, GSA, 2009
Menu image: Steve Bishop, 'Nesting Doll (Small Deer)', 2008
© Matt Roberts Arts 2010