If you saw School of Saatchi, the BBC series following a group of young artists’ attempts to win the heart (and cash) of Mr Saatchi himself then you’ll remember Matt Clark – “the guy who should’ve won”.
The actual winner was Eugene Scrase, a 19 year old as pretentious as her name, who discovered a tree branch impaled on some council estate railings and presented it as her final piece: a finding. Yes it was a good find and I’ve seen it in the Saatchi Gallery, it’s pretty impressive, however the rest of her work was pretty shocking while Mr Matt Clark had been creating installations based upon his imaginary characters throughout the series.
Anyway… I remembered Matt Clark recently and looked at his site. He’s made a new piece called the Flagmaker which was on show in Hackney at Gallery Primo Alonso…I thinnkkk it’s underground…cool huh…
ANYWAY. The point is personally I LOVE fictional narratives as the starting point for installations and although Matt Clark’s work currently isn’t on show there is a little something happening in Soho and it looks like fun!
So it’s run by The Photographer’s Gallery: the little gem on the edge of Oxford Street, and Mr Bulldog is a character thought up by Lucy Steggals who, like Matt Clark, creates installations based upon bizarre imaginary characters.
Mr Bulldog is an amalgamation of past and present residents of Soho, a pick and mix bag from the red light district of our beautiful city. We’re invited to follow the clues given at each destination, with the help of only a very simple map, starting with 55 Dean Street to discover the places that Mr Bulldog inhabited and the things he left behind.
The reason I enjoy these kinds of works so much is that they show a very real side to the artist as they allow the artist to entirely indulge in the alter egos that exist in their imaginations without the fear of being deemed ‘odd’. No cover ups…and as far as I’m concerned a little touch of madness adds to the work. Anything’s better than ordinary.
Tomorrow we’re going to hunt down Mr Bulldog.
p.s. two of the images are Lucy Steggal’s work but the pink ball is Matt Clark – have a look at his website. His work’s actually amazing, I’m going to see if I can find a map to hunt him down too!
p.p.s. The pink ball is actually jelly made from red wine somehow suspended from the ceiling of a church, refracting the coloured light shining through the stained glass… blood of Christ and all that. Clever chap.