Sunday, October 4, 2015

Eleanor Macnair's - Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh - showing at London's ATLAS GALLERY

Eleanor Macnair -  Child with toy grenade, NYC, 1962 by Diane Arbus

When in London back in May I was introduced to artist Eleanor Macnair through our mutual friend Clare Strand. Eleanor kindly gave me a copy of her wonderful book - Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh. The work is currently showing at London's ATLAS GALLERY, through until November 21st. The book and the show are well worth a look.

The photographs rendered and reproduced in the exhibition range from the well-known and iconic to lesser-known images by contemporary photographers. Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh started by Macnair on a whim in August 2013. The images are produced using Play-Doh, a chopping board, a highball glass as a rolling pin and a blunt Ikea knife. Each photograph takes 1-2 hours to reproduce, paring the image down to just form and colour, before being shot the next morning then disassembled back into the Play-Doh pots. The works themselves no longer exist and the Play-Doh is reused for future renderings, so the photographs are all that remain.

The objective of Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was to encourage viewers to slow down and re-engage with familiar photographs and discover new ones. Eleanor Macnair  says this: On the surface, photographs can condense complex ideas and present them in a straightforward visual language. I take this a step further and pare them down to almost nothing, just form and colour. They are what they are. Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh. It’s my strange tribute to photography.

Eleanor Macnair's Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was published in book form by MacDonaldStrand / Photomonitor in October 2014. The book featured in the Observer’s Best Photography Books of 2015, described as ‘sublimely post-modern’.

You can get a copy of Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh from MacDonadStrand HERE. The book was produced in a limited edition of 500 - with covers in 100 each of 5 Play-Doh colours. 140x165 mm, 144 pages with 100 litho colour reproductions, Hardback with coloured card, laminate and foil blocking.

And see the show at ATLAS GALLERY, 49 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NF (nearest tube is Baker Street)

Eleanor Macnair  - Vivienne in the green dress, NYC, 1980 by Nan Goldin

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