Internet Curtains @ Tramway
There’s an absence of straightforward flatness that comes up across the works in Internet Curtains. Iain Hetherington’s depiction of a Commonwealth cap protrudes from the canvas with a clumsy aggression, while Charlie Hammond’s tin foil paintings have been wrapped around some plates behind. More sculptural still, Alex Pollard’s screenprints are the fabric for slickly produced footwear.
Pollard’s perpendicularly arranged piles of cardboard draw attention to the just lop-sided hanging of Hetherington’s paintings, speaking to the rough and tumble of the cartoonish line-drawings of the sort of clouds that are just missing an all-caps “KABLAMMO!”
On these cardboard platforms, Pollard’s trainers and excessively dressy shoes are arranged in a manner that wouldn’t be out of place in a vulgarly expensive pop-up boutique. So brand new, yet dated in their design, the footwear comes across as not fitting or robust enough for walking on.
Pollard’s floor-based pieces are often accompanied by his own paintings, and in this way there is a space for Hammond and Hetherington. In the face of the shoes’ and trainers’ industrial finish, Hammond’s not-straight lines and Hetherington’s painterly scribbles bring a greater sense of manual labour.
Contrasting the smooth flat cardboard of Pollard’s work, Hammond’s tin foils seem somehow both shrunken and bloated. Their cleaning product blues, hostel bed sheet pink and rusty brown lines colour the moment at which dirt meets bleach, and the substrate is as wrinkled as hand wrung clothes.
There’s a similarity to the sense of humour between the three artists. Whether Pollard’s transformation into a brand of an outdated and unpopular music movement (Romo), or Hetherington’s self-deprecating rebranding of his There’s Wally series to include the Commonwealth cap. Hammond too takes a dig at himself, giving the impression (literally) that he’s wrapped his painting around some leftovers. It’s well-made work that can take a joke. [Adam Benmakhlouf]