The Guardian Tuesday June 27 1989
Chapter ShowsTHE practice of rooting through the rubbish dump and refuse bin for items to deploy in an art context has had its devotees since Schwitters and his Merz movement of the Twenties. The neo-Dadaists of the Fifties and Sixties and others more recently, have exploited it so thoroughly that one wonders whether there can be much more mileage in the idiom.
Tracey Holland thinks there is, and her montages are authoritative enough to convince one that here is an artist working with compulsion, honesty and an unusually sensitive eye for the patinas of decay. She orchestrates her junk -fishbones, candles, snakeskins, keys, photo fragments and various sorts of goo -with fine discrimination, sometimes using painted passages to enrich her compositions.
Holland gives some of her work a contemporary flavour by using photography ;but Simon Crump’s photo-collages look much more-immediately relevant to the contemporary world. His large wall panels may be seen as icons for our time (one, in the form of a cross, is entitled Icon). As Seen On TV is a 24 ft by 12 ft composite panel, dark, oppressive, and composed of pictorial cell clusters, dozens of miniature images on acetate. This and other panels incorporate domestic, industrial, biological, ethnic and meteorological themes.
Chapter Arts centre, Cardiff, to July 9.