Beginning, middle & end
Karla Williams, Matthew Richardson and Jenna Collins
g39, Cardiff

Press release: Every narrative moves from its beginning to a middle and a conclusive end. Usually. The artists in this show offer narratives that are far from complete, in which we are unsure at what point we have entered the story’s timeline, beginning, middle or end.

Matthew Richardson’s mixed media work appears to be randomly selected, assembled and playfully arranged images or objects. On closer inspection they begin to subtly undermine their own stable readings, origins and functions. His work questions what is intentional, credible or authentic by utilising the symbolic power that the human imagination is capable of bestowing on any number of objects and images.

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On the ground floor and throughout the stairwells, Matthew Richardson’s groupings of objects and gestures imply associations or meanings, through their very particular choice and arrangement. Through the juxtapositions he makes, the significance of one object is altered by another. The Statue of Liberty is dwarfed by a human hair (or the hair is made giant by the statue); an arbitrary date in the future becomes significant by our personal reading of, or association with it. There is significance to the found objects he uses, as well as an element of chance. Each object has been removed from its role in everyday life at a precise moment of incidence. The scratches and scuffs of wear and tear are preserved as a testament to the objects’ other beyond the gallery. Matthew applies this to the gallery itself, where his preservation of a scorched wall betrays the scene of a fire. Once the show finishes, the works revert to their everyday use. The owl’s perch becomes a functional broom in the artist’s kitchen; the scorched wall is painted over and becomes anonymous blank space once again.

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Truth to Power
Four small ‘only just’ collages which refer to war (a history) and the consequences of war (on a more intimate level). These photos and postcards were ‘damaged’ or altered - sometimes accidentally, sometimes willfully. The postcard and prints were removed from the everyday, ‘saved’ from further wear and tear and re-presented.

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