ektor garcia @ Mary Mary

Confounding expectations of weight, texture and surfaces, ektor garcia's solo show at Mary Mary combines metalwork with the stitches of crocheting to draw together materials and processes otherwise considered distinct

Review by Niamh Moloney | 26 Oct 2018
  • ektor garcia @ Mary Mary

The new show from ektor garcia, deshacer (translated from the Spanish ‘undo’) is alive with contradiction, each work weighted with it. Appearances are deceiving. What appears metallic is ceramic. What appears rigid is also fragile. Are those chains of connection, or of enslavement? Are they decoration or incarceration? These contradictions settle in sculptures and assemblages full of meditative, thoughtful care. A ceramic rose appears where you least expect, like a fragile bloom growing through a crack in the pavement.

Labour and time, absence and presence co-exist. History breathes through garcia’s crocheted spirals of tarnished and untarnished copper wire. The titles of each work hint at the body, a personal past, the history of the Mexican state. The artist performs, through his making, an excavation of history and of craft; mining the knowledge of connection to create works that are domestic, sensual and satisfying. Prints of fingers and hands, no longer present, appear everywhere. Traces that have been preserved, fired and glazed, are suspended in time yet remaining grounded in the materials of animal and plant fibres, metal and earth.

Throughout the exhibition we feel the touch of feminine hands. Generations of hands drawing back lace curtains. Hands placing doilies on tables. Hands taking up tools to darn, to knit, to crochet, to rip back, to rework, to mend, to provide comfort, to provide care. Emotional maternal labour, the strength of gentle touch and the power of the soothing caress.

The repetitive processes utilised by garcia feel never-ending, yet appear to act as a path to resolution. Crochet hooks and needles pinned into the works, left unfinished, to be picked up later. The repeated actions of stitching transform into muscle memory, allowing the mind to wander and the body to produce unhindered. Embodied moments to be present with the contradictions inherent in us all.

ektor garcia: deshacer, Mary Mary, until 27 Oct http://marymarygallery.co.uk