Ribbons of light

To the Art Gallery in Leeds, where the first part of the UK tour of ‘British Art Show 8’ is on display. Numerous fascinating works; Hayley Tompkins creates painted objects which incorporate treated metal plates, and sometime recall the eerie abstract forms in a derelict factory – imagine the galvanised ducting arrayed like robot soldiers in the ruins of the Mason Coatings workshops… Other striking images were the small paintings by Daniel Sinsel – one of them features a pale tangled ribbon on a dark background, almost hovering, I kept moving back and forth to check that it was actually a painting and not a relief. The luminous ribbon could be a form of taglietelle, or possibly a parasitic lifeform recovered from the stomach of a millionaire who collapsed one night in a brothel and was rushed to hospital under a false name… And one of the exhibits comprises electron micrographs of the cosmic debris left on the consultation couch of Professor Freud, and the shimmering ribbon of ectoplasm in Sinsel’s work might have been easy to smuggle into this display without anybody knowing…

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