Karen Ryan - Custom Made in England, Vanity series - seen here
I like Karen Ryan's work very much, and I wish I could get down to London in time to see the show she is in at Spring Projects called Straw Dogs - it finishes on 30 July so I'll miss it.
The exhibition includes Jason Brooks, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Hans Stofer and is a response the philosopher John Gray's 2003 book Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. This book has been a major influence for me in the last few years and I used it as the basis of my essay for a Philosophy of Art module I took trough Cardiff Centre of Lifelong Learning in 2008. It is a bleak view which questions Humanist ideas of progress and suggests that the impetus to understand the world in terms of linear progression is a hangover of Christian theology. He suggests that the drive towards constant improvement has created a paradigm of greed and dislocation from the natural world which has brought us to the brink of self destruction.
Karen Ryan - Fear, Installation - seen here
Gray has been criticised for his bleak approach to his subject, and he is hard to read and come out unaffected, but I feel there is some very important issues for the art world to consider in his ideas. So, I am doubly upset that I won't get to see this show!
Karen Ryan - In the Woods - seen here