Modern Panic III

by Katharine Fry

Crossing the threshold of Apiary Studios on Friday night I found myself in front of some delicately boxed limited editions, small folds of vulvas, penises and anuses peeping out, Emma Buggy’s limited edition addition to her vagina shoes in the next room. I went in search of free beer and encountered Philip Levine having a beautiful illustration of a brain being painstakingly painted onto his shaved head by body artist Kat Sinclair. I remembered Philip from a newspaper interview a few years ago. He featured with his signature 1000-Swarovski crystal headpiece naming his favourite Highbury bunch establishment. A local myself, we jammed over breakfast destinations – a brunch-off looms!

Moving into the next room, I found Roger Williams doing an Operations board game floor painting surround by latex phalluses with large balls commissioned by a burlesque performer. Next to him, a performance by Silvia Battista – Queering the Rosary – with Season Butler, both of them shrouded in black lace, repeating the prayer to the Virgin Mary with a knitted rosary of testicles.

Upstairs, after an hour’s wait, another performance. This one an intense ritual, flesh hooks, fire, rope, wax and ram’s skull by Nicola Canavan and Jon John, its atmosphere disturbed by calls for the patient audience to move on so others could get in…shame.

With 60 artists on show, it was a mixed bag of painting, printmaking, photography and mixed media. My highlights, on top of the performances were Dan Hiller’s intricate Victorian illustrations and Kyle Thompson’s beautiful surreal self-portraits.

P.S. No free beer in sight. Minus 10 points for a private view.

One Response to “Modern Panic III”

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