Ninteenth Exhibition

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Things as they ought to be showcases a series of paintings and one in-progress installation by British artist, Anthony McCorry.

Since the 1940’s, government and councils treated housing as a problem that needed to be fixed quickly, rather than viewing it as a chance to create an inspired foundation within a healthy and equal society. In that era of challenge, the rise of the local authority housing, or council estate seemed to be the answer to their problems. Over time, however, most were to reveal the consequences of such hurried and ill-conceived planning.

Throughout Britain, council estates are often portrayed as places to be feared, or the very source of social ills – from gang culture, high unemployment, and relentless petty stupidity to anti-social behavior. McCorry proposes that such stigma should be reassessed; and that with a deeper appreciation of the complexity of life and conditions, living on council estates can be rewarding, rather than miserable.

During his 6 months artist-in-residency at EXHIBIT, McCorry had an on-going interest in the Golden Lane Community Club, and has constant dialogue with the participating residents. The body of work explore vistas of the estate selected by the residents and McCorry together, and bring viewers closer to the emotional viewpoint about living on the estate.

Anthony McCorry was born in Birmingham in 1963, where he spent his childhood in the Chelmsley Wood area of Birmingham, at the time the largest area of social housing in Europe. After graduating from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hons.) in Fine Art, and completing an MA Fine Art at Coventry University, McCorry spent many years focusing his work on built environments and exploring the theme of social housing through painting. During excursions made to other British towns in the 1980’s as a football supporter, McCorry confronted a number of unsettling landscapes, which reinforced his unique observations and recurring memories of living in Chelmsley Wood. Since then, he has captured whatever triggers his consciousness and compulsions, using photography, brushes and paint. In his work, shut-down pubs, run-down structures and uncanny vistas, all display a disquieting quality about decay and alienation. McCorry idealizes the actuality, shuns the conspicuous, and subtly turns everything into a world of meditation.

In Super Estate Projects, McCorry extends his artistic manifesto to challenge long-held preconceptions. Influenced by the unique environment and the supportive community, the dream-like quality of his work exposes the artist’s own emotional response to a reality he once ceased to believe in.

Things as they ought to be is one of the Super Estate Projects, which celebrate the 50th anniversary of Golden Lane Estate.

22 Jan – 19 Feb 2010