Daniel Eatock’s gallery show, Editions & Originals, opens at London’s Kemistry Gallery today (Friday 16 November) and runs into January. Daniel invited CR down to the gallery for the ultimate private view yesterday morning to check out the show…
Many of our readers will know Eatock for his ongoing work on Channel 4’s Big Brother, and quite a few of you may well have contributed photography to Eatock’s website or indeed designed your own website using indexhibit, the freeware portfolio website creating tool which he created in collaboration with Jeffrey Vaska. However, as this exhibition clearly demonstrates, Eatock’s creative bow is one of many strings.
The first thing you notice on entering the show is what a wide range of physical objects are on display – framed artworks, overprinted lithoprints, a variety of 3d objects and photographic images and more. The right-hand wall of the gallery has been wallpapered using multiple copies of the eight printed posters Eatock has produced for the exhibition and which show and caption all the work that’s actually in the gallery on the other walls and on a table in the middle of the space.
The left hand wall of the gallery space is wallpapered in the 8 posters Eatock created specially for the exhibition (which are available folded and boxed from the gallery, a piece of work in itself, titled Boite-en-Valise) that shows and captions all of the work physically exhibited in the show
The idea is that visitors, by reading the information on the caption wall, will find out more about the objects exhibited – why they’re created in a particular medium, for example, or how a particular image was created. The captions often also reveal work in progress images or other facts or reference points that were instrumental in inspiring Eatock’s work. This caption wall essentially ensures that as well as the works on display, Eatock is also exhibiting the thought processes that led to their creation…
For example a colourful, abstract print hangs in the gallery. By referring to the captions printed on the opposite wall, the visitor discovers that the image is one of 73 images created when Eatock left a full set of 300 Lettraset TRIA Pantone markers standing upright on their nibs on a ream of A1 70gsm uncoated white paper for a month – a project which Eatock created for an exhibition at the Aram Gallery in September 2006. The ink penetrated 73 sheets of the paper, thus creating 73 unique prints – and so Eatock editioned the pieces 1-73, with 1 being the print the ink reached last and 73 being the top sheet of paper in the ream. Each print was priced according to the edition number, edition one being £1, edition 73 being £73.
On the table there’s a fruit bowl covered in stickers removed from fruit, a work that is the fruition (sorry) of a dialogue between Eatock and his mother, who had once covered a tangerine in fruit stickers (also exhibited), simply to ensure that all the fruit in her fruit bowl in a different room was “unbranded”. Eatock’s mother, later gave him a present of a square fruit bowl covered in stickers. Eatock tells us he “hated the shape of the bowl but accepted the idea as a gift”.
What becomes apparent looking at his work, is that Eatock is a compulsive and obsessive type – he collects and documents things. Another work on show is a photograph of all the “holes” from his hole-punch. Balls of hair on show are Eatock’s own, made from various post-shower, plug-hole harvests. A small piece of sticky-tape is stuck to a sheet of A4 on the wall by the window. Look closely – it’s an exhibit of Eatock’s very first grey hair…
The objects, photographs, prints and artworks, combined with the captioned insights revealing the stories behind the work on show, conspire to document one man’s observations of the world and, in turn, the way those observations yield ideas and creativity. Eatock’s great skill and the success of this show lies in his ability to present his thoughts, ideas and practice in a way that is engaging, thought-provoking, often amusing and consistently charming.
“Two weeks ago I threw a pair of red Converse over a telegraph wire in Bethnal Green,” explains Eatock of the image shown above. “I had extended the laces so the shoes hung down until they almost touched the ground, it took me about 50 attempts to throw them over. Thank you to the passing stranger who gave me a good tip of swinging one shoe like a lasso before letting go.”
Editions & Originals is running at Kemistry Gallery until January.
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