Kit Leffler @ Patriothall Gallery

Article by Kamila Kocialkowska | 09 May 2011

What more suitable way for a late-April art show to open, than with a homage to the impending Royal wedding?

In her work, Kit Leffler appropriates images from the daily influx of visuals we are assailed with by the media on a daily basis, rearranging them to create her own wryly amusing compositions.

It’s no surprise, then, that she takes up the ubiquitous image of Wills and Kate, creating a lithograph wherein the happy couple is enshrined with irresistibly ironic references. Digestive biscuits surround the smiling Miss Middleton, while flies wander over blue sapphire engagement rings and drunken spectators pass out wearing gold paper crowns. This image is a medley of nuptial chaos, setting the tone for the entire exhibition – on the borderline of sardonicism and sincerity.

Royal Wedding aside, Leffler cites our relationship with the natural environment as the central preoccupation of her art. She creates elaborate digital collages, which are in turn meticulously printed by hand, creating pseudo-Surrealist landscapes featuring giant chameleons overtaking swimming pools and landfill sites. These almost apocalyptic scenes are imaginatively conceived, immaculately printed and laden with amusing details that reward closer examination.

The ethical implication of meat manufacturing is another recurring theme in the show, albeit treated with more irony than didacticism. Leffler creates a series of quasi-iconic portraits of historic meat moguls. Turkey tycoon Bernard Matthews, for instance, is shown grinning with over-cheerful falsity, a saintly halo emanates from him. A makeshift shrine constructed of disembodied turkey parts and bizarre hybrids of two-headed birds surrounds him. It’s as if religious iconicity has been melded with scenes from an abattoir, and forms a caustic commentary on both the meat industry and the cult of celebrity.

Effortlessly blending irony and earnestness, these prints pose an insightful and amusing reflection on what it means to live in a society inundated with images.

1D Patriothall off Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AY