Simon Periton makes doilies, cutting them laboriously by hand from layers of coloured paper to create complex visual and sculptural effects. Like the most shallow of shallow reliefs, these doilies hover precariously between two and three dimensions.
Periton draws on patterns from sources as diverse as occultism, colonialism, Islam, punk, Pop Art and politics but the prettiness of his work belies the seriousness of his cultural references just as his use of pattern obscures his subject matter. On close examination what initially seems like mere decoration actually reveals social commentary and even something dainty can be a veil for something more disturbing.
Periton’s new work for Gallery 4 will hang over the windows like intricate lace curtains. The project has been made in response to the domestic proportions and architectural details of the room - the only one in the Institute where such details survive.
Periton’s pattern on this occasion is created from a series of unravelling loops and holes. The result has a ragged quality at odds with the glossiness of the metallic foil he has used to create it.
Much looser in design than the rigid, repeated patterns of cane and wicker Periton has used in the past, this work is reminiscent of the threadbare banners still found in churches and castles - anomalous leftovers of a bygone age and outmoded value system.
Periton was born in Kent in 1964 and he has studied at St Martin’s School of Art. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, Sadies Coles HQ, London and Jablonka Gallery, Köln.
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The Institute will be closed on Sunday 10 June due to the AJ Bell World Triathlon taking place in the city centre.