s t a n d p o i n t

John Holland and Fiona MacDonald

20 April - 19 May 2007

Gallery open Wed - Sat 12-6pm

Private view - Thursday 19 April 2007 6-9pm

John Holland and Fiona MacDonald create mutating or abused landscapes, echoing current fears for the environment, but with a twist of overactive, gothic imagination. They make alternate realities, scenarios or details, whether as backdrops for potential dramas to unfold, or to re-investigate the lived experience of being this human creature at once embedded and alienated from the natural world.

Fiona MacDonald - Jezebel's Island 2007


Holland and MacDonald pick their way through the philosophical and aesthetic fracture between nature and our cognitive experience of it, seeking some useful interpretive framework, but being repeatedly drawn back to worrying places where the writhing roots of feral leylandii enfold ancient, snail-eaten copies of Readers’ Wives.  The stuff of which the work is made is never allowed to sink behind the act of representation, but must surface. This push and pull between seduction and refusal is wilful, is there to turn the viewer this way and that, draw them in, then revolt them or confuse them. This may be more or less subtle, but it keeps the work active, unsettled, contradictory.


John Holland

John Holland - Untitled 2006

John Holland’s installations portray a kind of nature that’s at once intimate, romantic, and totally adulterated by man made tat. He uses a plethora of ordinary but out of context materials – sawn timber, plasticine, silicon rubber, gaffer tape, fibreglass, polystyrene, vaseline, house paint, fur, air freshener – making landscapes in which realistic birds and animals inhabit a space toxically laden with barely transformed matter. ‘I assert the primacy of material specificity as a tool against the bad generalities of ideologies, strategies, metaphors and literary interpretations. The job is to avoid everything bar facts, sentiment, and the hope of a little bit of sympathetic magic.’

John Holland lives and works in London and Brighton. He has had solo shows in Brighton and Lille, France.


John Holland - Please Come Back 2007

John Holland Maybe Nature gets Bored Too 2006


Fiona MacDonald


Fiona MacDonald Organs (without body) 2007

Fiona MacDonald produces fictional worlds and details constructed from found objects, living organisms, natural and artificial materials. Her sculptures and paintings portray the desire for - and the necessary failure of - new spaces of the imagination. Unashamedly beautiful, but never without dark undercurrents, MacDonald’s work evokes sensations of overabundance and stagnation. Alternately seduced and brought up against the kind of wrongness that only occasionally appears in nature (in such ways as the duck-billed platypus looks stuck together with glue), she positions us at the edge of illusion and materiality.

Fiona MacDonald studied at Leeds Metropolitan and Chelsea College of Art. Solo shows include Habitat 2006 (Phoenix, Brighton) and Long and Ryle, London in June 2007. She has been selected for the Celeste Art Prize 2007 and the Creekside Open 2007.


Fiona MacDonald Brockaflora 2007

Fiona MacDonald Revolver 2007

Also working in collaboration for the first time, the artists have produced for this show ‘Nature versus Nurture’, an epic fight to the death between the forces of Nature (small furry animals) and the forces of Capitalism (cheap plastic superheroes), constructed on a table football pitch.


Holland & MacDonald Nature versus Nurture (detail) 2007



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