Blue is the colour to be buried in. When visiting any of Ian Berry’s exhibitions expect to be buried in blue; if you thought jeans were ‘just’ blue and that this was just one colour, prepare to be stunned by the vast variety of shades that one colour from the spectrum can produce; and what’s more that every single piece is lovingly crafted from one material, Denim.
The latest offering from Ian comes in 2 parts; ‘Behind closed doors’, a look at life on the inside of the places we call home. Then there is an installation ‘My beautiful laundrette’ which creates a commentary on how we are losing a treasured past that was an essential feature of many neighbourhoods, and sadly now heading towards extinction.
Walking into my beautiful laundrette was so convincingly like walking into the real thing, even down to the smell of freshly laundered clothes on entrance. The smaller collages of several London laundrettes gave as much of an impression that you could have physically been inside the buildings as the life size installation did.
Behind closed doors offers the shelter and welcome of a home. I challenge anyone to see this show and not to be able to find a hint of something that takes you back to a memory of a space or time that belonged just to you. For me this meant a collection of perfectly replicated album covers from the Sex Pistols, Velvet Underground and Patti Smith carefully arranged in easy reach of a ‘listening’ chair.
If I take a step back from what I felt as I absorbed this show, I am totally amazed at Ian’s ability to communicate a story through denim. The immense detail that has gone into his work is stunning; light reflections on metal captured so perfectly that you forget that you are looking at a collage in denim. You can blink your eyes and really stare, and still have to remind yourself that you are not looking at a photograph shot in cyanotype.
The Catto gallery has this show open to the public until the end of November, and there are even Thursday late nights for those who are limited on day time and weekends.
Take the opportunity to see Ian Berry’s work up close and personal while you have the chance!
written by Helen Cassidy @inlakesh