DooDah is a pop-up art exhibition by five very talented Sheffield Hallam Fine Arts students. The name DooDah comes from the word we call things we don’t know the name of or what it does, very fitting for this exhibition. They’ve basically spent months creating interesting pieces of art out of things non arty people would class as junk. And like all artists the piece as meaning and some even have links to our beloved Castle Market.
The first piece of art work that catches you is a bit of fun at the door. Push or Pull? A bit confusing and funny when the signs are the wrong way around. This is a piece by Sophie Louise Webster who’s pieces in this exhibition definitely have a fun theme running through them. A washing machine door and drawer make up the perfectly named Thing 1 and Thing 2. I was told this is because taking something from a whole makes it a thing. Very true. Thing 3 is found around the exhibition in the form of those slippy 90’s toys that you have hours of fun with.
The centre piece upstairs, titled Jelly Bean by Bimal Rana, wouldn’t look out of place in a modernist exhibition. The orange colour pops and the levitation effect by the string gives a quirky futuristic effect. Rana’s other pieces also stand out. Wood on Wood is a great piece painted in lavender that makes you walk around it to find different ways to look at it. It’s not scrap, it’s an intelligent art piece made from wood from the old Market in the shape of the new one. Ingenious really. His Honey, Where’s My Plinth? piece also made from pieces found around Castle Market makes it’s own art through the shadows it creates from the spotlight.
Sarah Botha’s work is a stand out in the dark painted room. The use of foil makes you think of a moonscape or waterscape. I even heard one person refer to it as “fungus growing up the walls.” All her work makes use of foil in different ways which adds a fantastic change to all the other work in the room. It naturally brightens the place and draws you in to find out more. Even where Botha as covered a wall with foil it makes you look at the different reflections and the effects the grooves and crinkles give off. I’ve definitely changed how I look at foil.
13.44 by Kathryn Davison looks scarily like spiders webs. But on closer inspection it’s actually used staples linked together. The effect is mesmerizing and the way it gives off shadows makes it more life like. Kathryn said on her piece “it has a life of it’s own” and it really does. She mentions that OCD has a big piece to play in the work she’s created and she loves the delicacy and fragility of what she’s created. Her other piece Bow Wow Bling links to a memory from childhood. The swing suspended from the ceiling used to belong in her Grandma’s garden. This is one of those rare pieces that the viewer may not class as an art piece itself, but the memory it brings up is the art piece.
One artists work has dyslexia close to its roots. Jen Morgan’s work depicts her struggles with dyslexia throughout her art. #2 is a sewn piece showing the difficulty of spelling the word jewellery. Once you look at the piece you have to keep looking because of the contrast between the simplicity and difficulty the artist as gone though to create it. Morgan’s other piece is something you’re invited to hold and look at. She’s spent months sewing in books and creating art work out of the pages of books. She even sat and began sewing in one of the books to help us get the feel of what the process involved. Her work is obviously different from the rest of the exhibition but it teaches us something about her art which I myself believe is a part of her craft.
Even the acoustic session by local Matt Botha gave a great vibe to the art work and the enthralled viewers milling around the space.
Each one of these artists brought something different to the exhibition and each one pulled it off fantastically. The links to Castle Market, the memories each piece invokes and the insight each piece gives into the artist helps the viewer to understand each piece and for this they all should be proud. If this show is anything to go by we haven’t seen the last of these five artists.
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