Meatus Metatus - Art Exhibition - Michael Reid Gallery

Meatus Metatus

4 - 28 Nov 2015

These tattooed ceramic heads harness a strong set of contradictory emotions. They are imbued with ancient notions of power and status, but they also engage with recent anxieties concerning our relationship with animals. Repeatedly jumping the fence between portraiture and iconography, the tattoos highlight the conflict between our desire for individuality and our need for the security offered by belonging to groups. It can take years to learn what is really important to us, what we value, what is enduring and what is temporal. So given the permanence of tattoos, it is surprising how casual the decision on their graphic content can be. Tattoos may be a committed form of individual expression but they really are just emotional logos rather than an expression of an individual’s considered position, and in any case they are actually drawn by someone else. So given that both sentimentality and black humour are methods of choice for dealing with matters of life and death, perhaps these pieces demonstrate how even the best laid legacies are vulnerable to mocking decapitation. The ceramic heads are less a reminder of mortality, more a demonstration of how fragile both identity and integrity really are. Lucie McCann, 2015

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