Art exhibition: ‘I heart Jersey’ by Russell Layton
Russell Layton’s first solo exhibition at Private & Public Gallery is filled with gently humorous, wry and ironic humour which is typically based on existing structures of categorisation, subverted through the replacement of their contents with incongruous ingredients and filtered through a very Jersey specific lens.
Visually stunning, beautifully presented and instantly recognisable these playful and amusing images create associations at the points where two or more worlds intersect.
In this latest body of work there is no code that needs to be cracked and whilst meanings may not always be obvious, should you spend time looking and thinking, you will come to realise that he is an artist of great integrity who cares deeply about his island home whilst still being able to keep a friendly and satirical eye on the political and cultural landscape It’s also fair to say that the artist is not interested in mystification. He much prefers disrupting something that people take as read rather than simply pulling the wool over their eyes.
What interests him most is juxtaposing different paths of knowledge to form more than the sum of their parts in ways that are visually enriched by his forensic psycho-geographic knowledge of the Island’s landscape and culture.
Russell Layton’s work sits comfortably within the context of other great 21st century artists such as the Swedish duo Elmgreen & Dragset who hilariously installed a Prada retail outlet in the middle of the Texan desert and the American Doug Aitken whose moving works intend to take the viewer unaware, eliciting responses that are unexpected and profound whilst Illuminating the side effects of our media saturated culture.
Gallery Director Chris Clifford says: “Having known Russell for over 40 years and watched as his artistic practice has evolved it gives me great pleasure to be able to provide a platform for his latest works which take a witty glance at the way the islands image, culture and values have radically changed Russell’s new works provide sophisticated layers of visually appealing puns which cleverly bring together disparate elements from the past and present to create new realities in which worlds collide.
“By cleverly drawing together discordant cultural themes Russell Layton’s art continues the dialogue within postmodern art theory and practice which has focused on the philosophical debate around ‘Deconstructivism’ which highlights the relationship between text, image and meaning. This show not only looks very beautiful but it provides a humorous and intelligent commentary on life in Jersey in the 21st century”.
Preview Evening & Drinks Reception on Friday 29th April 5-8pm
Exhibition runs until 27th May and is open weekdays from 12-6pm and on Saturdays from 10am-2pm