Combining cartoons and politics, Andy Holden presents a very different way of looking at art and the world we live in. His ‘Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape’ is an interesting way of understanding culture through cartoons. The clip is an hour long, and it takes on the idea that people can continue to keep going along a particular path even though there are bumps ahead, providing the audience with philosophical motives. The clips mimic how we experience contemporary politics. The work has taken Andy five years; he is exhibiting his clips at the Tate on the 16th March with added content, as this is an evolving piece of work.
The message Andy is trying to convey through his work is to enable us to unpick how we understand cartoons: are they more sophisticated than we imagine? Do they illuminate the truth and how we analyse the world? His work is interesting as it suggests that cartoons can be strange and traumatic at times, yet we as an audience are expected to find them humorous, and may therefore not appreciate the seriousness behind them.
My personal favourite pieces from the exhibition are the ‘Eyes in Space’ and ‘Episode III: I Wouldn’t Dream of It’. The ‘Eyes in Space’ are a collection of three images with plastic eyes stuck to an image of space. This is a rather peculiar piece as it is exactly what it says in the title; eyes in space. The ‘Episode III: I Wouldn’t Dream of It’ is a seven-minute clip which contains a mini avatar of Andy himself as Shaggy from Scooby Doo. This is a fascinating piece as he is not trying to solve mysteries but attempting to interpret a dream which is a cartoon. The piece uses Freud’s idea of dream interpretation and it gives the audience an alternative way of looking at the cartoon.
Rebecca Chesney’s work involves using the environment to display her political message. One of her pieces is a series of stills of dying trees, which portrays the environment and our relationship to it. Her piece ’66 Million’ demonstrates a powerful message and invites the audience to think of natural abundance. Her work sends out a powerful message that once all of this is lost we cannot get it back.
Both these artists share in how our daily life can reveal stark truths about our political priorities and enable us to think of these issues in a different way. It is an absolutely fantastic exhibition.
Andy Holden and Rebecca Chesney’s exhibitions are showing at the Peter Scott Gallery until Friday week 19.