Live Dead World
The first room in Gabriele Beveridge’s solo exhibition, Live Dead World, is bisected by 6 meters of freestanding steel panels. The island/wall is comprised of modular sheets that slot into uprights, supported by a pressed metal base shelf. Some of the panels, uprights and interlocking struts have been recently powder coated, others are covered in a thin patina of grime. The mosaic of colours range from solid white, orange and deep black, to subtle cyan fades, offset by a backdrop of warm grey walls. The slotted steel system also supports a skeleton of chromed bars, upon which sit nebulous orbs of blown glass. The glass moulds itself over the ridges of the chrome in a variety of pastel shades.
The adjacent room is covered from floor to ceiling with white laminated boards, each with numerous aluminium channels inlaid across its surface. Into these grooves slot more polished, chromed fixings and glass shelves, on which found objects and photographs are placed. This modular system is instantly recognisable, the bars usually hold the commercial stock of a shop, clothing or merchandise. Both rooms repurpose systems fabricated for display in retail environments, though not far from their intended use, still recalling their original function. These support systems, mechanisms that the designers hoped would quietly melt into the background, are fore fronted by Beveridge by recombining components into forms that echo minimalist sculpture, taking visible pleasure in formal geometric order combined with pastel tones.
The artist’s materials frequently derive from sites of commerce, particularly those where we prepare and process our bodies, or more accurately where we pay others to perform labour on our surfaces. Display and presentation are persistent themes throughout the practice. Beveridge includes found photographic imagery, cropped posters and promotional material found in hair and nail salons, alongside photograms which are a new addition to the artist’s lexicon. These black and white works are unique exposures of photographic paper, experiments with developing chemicals and light, and like folding glass orbs dispersed through the exhibition, these organic, delicate moments offer a counter point to the geometric, modular, mass-produced systems that Beveridge deploys. Components attached to a chassis. Ornaments arranged across a body.