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Rockridge

Artefacts of Artifice

Robert Callender
William Daniels
Rupert Norfolk

Tony Kemplen
Jonathan Owen
Simon Rigsbi-Taffelau
Magnus Quaife

Ellen Munro
Rory Macbeth
Wendy Short

8th Apr - 30th Apr 2006

As the fictitious setting of Mel Brooks’ 1974 spoof western Blazing Saddles, Rock Ridge is a town under threat. To save the settlement from a gang of marauding outlaws, Sheriff Bart formulates an inspired plan. Employing paint, canvas and timber frameworks the townsfolk replicate Rock Ridge overnight with a street of facades – a triumph of trompe l’oeil that succeeds in outwitting the witless villains. Concealed within the civilized streets of Edinburgh’s Morningside it’s possible to discover Scotland’s own interpretation of Bart’s ingenious illusion. Ostensibly a small enclave emblematic of raucous wild-west frontier – complete with saloon, cantina and jail – fictional frontages of Spring Valley Gardens give way to the quotidian realm of library, lawnmower shop and garage.

Challenging our ability to distinguish between reality and fiction the Embassy’s latest exhibition pays homage to this spirit of visual trickery, paint effects and the art of the façade by bringing together a remarkable group of artists working within the traditions of trompe l’oeil. The Embassy is literally transformed into a pseudo museum: marble effects, plinths, and a peculiar yet very particular taxonomy, cumulate to feign a formal context for their artefacts of artifice. Characterised by a well-developed taste for trickery, anomaly and outright fakery this curious collection of objects present enigmas to be unraveled.

Robert Callender, William Daniels, Tony Kemplen, Rory Macbeth, Ellen Munro, Rupert Norfolk, Jonathan Owen, Simon Rigsbi-Taffeleau and Magnus Quaife present work that consciously operates on the level of illusionism. Their works of wonder embody a palpable tension between what an object implies and the reality of its material. While inviting the viewer to intellectually engage with the illusionistic game at hand, they command admiration by the virtue of the consummate skill required for it to succeed.

Wendy Short

Rory Macbeth - Statue (Flora)
Rory Macbeth - Statue (Flora)
fibreglass, paint, hair, clothes

William Daniels - David and the Head of Goliath
William Daniels - David with the Head of Goliath
oil on board

 

Ellen Munro - The Object Is Not Important As Long As There Is
Ellen Munro - The Object Is Not Important As Long As There Is
(detail)
ceiling installation: watercolours on paper, mountcard and polyurethane moulding

Ellen Munro - The Object Is Not Important As Long As There Is Ellen Munro - The Object Is Not Important As Long As There Is
(installation view)
ceiling installation: watercolours on paper, mountcard and polyurethane moulding

 

Jonathan Owens - Mortgage Music
Jonathan Owens - Mortgage Music

Jonathan Owens - Mortgage Music
Jonathan Owens - Mortgage Music

Magnus Quaife - Sterlingboard
Magnus Quaife - Sterlingboard
watercolour on paper

Robert Callender
Robert Callender
cardboard, paper, paint, marbledust

Robert Callender - useful bowl
Robert Callender - Useful Bowl
cardboard, paper, paint, marbledust

Rupert Norfolk- Stone
Rupert Norfolk- Stone
jesmonite and sandstone dust

Rupert Norfolk - Cloth Collage
Rupert Norfolk - Cloth Collage
photocopies and glue on paper

Simon Rigsbi Taffelau
Simon Rigsbi Taffelau from specialist decoration firm Faux and Behold demonstrates Stuccolustro and Marmorino plaster effects at his workshop at The Embassy