Cross Lane Projects in Kendal reopens this Summer with an exhibition by Mark Woods. Curated by Vanya Balogh, the exhibition features objects, vignettes & photographs of elaborate artefacts housed in a purposely designed environment that aims to enhance viewers’ disorientation and surprise.
Visitors are invited to peer through small openings to view Wood’s evocative work. Blurring the boundaries between fine art, fetish objects, and items from a cabinet of curiosities, Woods’ art compels viewers to confront their inner feelings and desires.
A complex voyeuristic world – Vanya Balogh
Vanya Balogh describes Absorption as a rare thing: a hyperreal multimedia event that brings us a renewed encounter between psychoanalysis and fine art. ‘At once disciplined and productively wayward, Mark’s new visual construction directs us towards a complex voyeuristic world that awakens and invites us to peep and observe, intimately but closely, his crafty, fine making skills, immersed in trickery, love, dedication, curiosity, fantasy, perversion, aggression, loss, impurity, fear and ultimately all devised and compellingly so in a form of absorbing illusionist installation piece, for an artist himself to unbecome accomplice in that ritual of repetitive abandonment.’
Balogh warns you to pause before you enter the gallery and gather your senses for the visual experience ahead of you. He says that the experience will be dark, submissive and it will tickle your brain in different ways. It could happen you will suddenly find yourself looking into a kaleidoscopic dream or mirrored fantasy room but keep going and do keep looking. It will be a journey of discovery.
The title ‘Absorption’ takes inspiration from the renowned ‘International Surrealist Exhibition held at Galérie Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1938. The exhibition featured leading surrealist artists including André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Leonora Carrington and challenged existing conventions of exhibition viewing. This groundbreaking exhibition placed paintings and objects as elements within a surrealist environment. Visitors were encouraged to follow a dreamlike path almost entirely in darkness.
Joanna Moorhead described the effect in her 2017 book ‘The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington’: “From there the visitors passed into the gallery, where they were informed that the lights had failed and that they would have to look at the exhibits using torches. With these in hand, they continued their tour long a corridor made to resemble a Parisian Street, along which were arranged a row of mannequins.”
Mark Woods (b. 1961, Surrey) is a British artist with a background in contemporary jewellery production and boat building; he produces highly elaborate artefacts that blur the boundaries between jewellery, fine art, fetish objects and items from a cabinet of curiosities.
Recent solo exhibitions include ‘No Mirror’, Open studio for Lakes Alive, Cross Lane Projects, 2019; ‘A Return to Old Certainties’, Lobomirov/Angus Hughes Gallery, London 2017; ‘Saturnia’, Bruxelles, Belgium 2012; ‘To Have and to Hold’, The Wapping Project, London, 2010. Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Made With…’ curated by John Stephens, Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, 2020; ‘Imperfectum’, curated by Vanya Balogh, Cello Factory, Waterloo, London, 2020; ‘Miniscule 2’ Curated by Vanya Balogh, Cross Lane Projects, Kendal 2019; ‘Flugblätter’, curated by Birgit Jensen, Maebashi, Japan. 2019; ‘Flugblätter’, curated by Birgit Jensen, Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, 2019; ‘Miniscule Venice’, Curated by Vanya Balogh, Venice, Italy. 2019; ‘Collecting Craft’, Charmian Adams collection, Holburne Museum, Bath, 2019; ‘Empire ll’, curated by Vanya Balogh, Venice, Italy 2019; ‘Flugblätter’, curated by Birgit Jensen, Schloss Plüschow Mecklenburgisches Künstlerhaus, Upahl, Germany, 2019; ‘Flugblätter’, curated by Birgit Jensen & Mark Patsfall, Clay Street Press, Cincinnati, USA. 2019; ‘Amsterdam, my blue heaven, my red hell’, Curated by Vanya Balogh & Mario Varas Sanchez, London; 2019; EMPIRE II in Oaxaca. In Association with the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico; ‘Violence silence’, Cello Factory, London, 2018; ‘Empire ll’, Tallinn Art week, Haus Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia, 2018; ‘Chinese open- embracing the underdog’. Q Park, Soho, London, 2018; ‘Protocol’, Q-Park, Cavendish Sq. London 2018; Cross Lane Projects-Lakes Alive open weekend, Kendal, 2018; ‘Empire II’, Paris FIAC, 2018;; ‘Flugblätter’, curated by Birgit Jensen, Dordrecht, Holland, 2018.
Founded in 2018, Cross Lane Projects presents a curated programme of contemporary exhibitions by local, international and British artists with accompanying talks and events. Shows are held in Spring through to Autumn, including working alongside the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award and The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival.
The gallery does not represent artists but curates shows from invitations and submissions. Past shows have included Female Trouble – Paula Rego & Rebecca Scott, Let’s Go Camping with Tom of Finland, Made With …, Auto-Destruct, Miniscule Part 2, Flugblätter, Frances Richardson, Anna Reading and Olivia Bax. In 2019 Cross Lane Projects was shortlisted for the Cumbria Life Culture Awards.
Mark Woods: Absorption, Cross Lane Projects Kendal 24 July 2021 – 18 September 2021