Hobson’s Choice: Mhairi Vari at Domobaal

12 December 2011 By
Director's Choice Domobaal

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, recommends his favourite exhibition of the week.

19 November – 17 December 2011

DOMOBAAL, 3 John Street, London WC1N 2ES

Thursday – Saturday 12 – 6pm and at other times by appointment


If you have a chance before the Christmas break, do swing by the new exhibition at DOMOBAAL, located in a beautiful house on John Street in Bloomsbury.  Created in situ from ephemeral materials and asserting the temporary nature of their existence, four sculptural pieces by Scottish born, London-based artist Mhairi Vari have been beautifully installed in the entrance hallway and first-floor gallery space.   Interested in scientific theory, meta-data, statistics and the architecture of information, Vari has created a new body of highly enjoyable sculptural pieces, like a slightly unhinged scientist left to their own devices in a sixth form chemistry lab.  Pieces which remind one of molecular systems and models fashioned with DIY implausibility, bring great satisfaction in their contrasting materiality and their absurdist quest to give visual form to schematic information.  The first piece – Repeater – lurks like a punished child in the hallway and is a sculpture assembled from metallic orbs joined together, sitting in a puddle of melted coloured glue – suggesting molecular systems in flux.   On walking up the staircase and entering the first-floor gallery, one encounters two beacon-like sculptures composed from sycamore branches firmly rooted in cardboard cable reels and which emit small wires decorated with marbles and pinheads.   Another floor-based piece installed close by – Shift – is assembled from a van security grille which contains and is in turn supported by a mdf graph-like structure, crystallising with dylon colour at its tips.  Entering the smaller space off the main gallery one is alarmed by a large nest-like structure constructed from twigs and branches, which contains and camouflages a metal orb, and sits majestically like a virus in colonisation of an office desk of the era of the invention of modern technology – the telegram and telephone – oozing fine, feathery strings of coloured glue which pool delicate scribbles on the floor surrounding the piece.  A lovely show.

Image: © Mhairi Vari, Hub – John Street, Gazing Ball, hot–melt glue, desk, twigs, 250 × 180 × 180cm, 2011. Image courtesy DOMOBAAL (photo: Andy Keate)

Let us know what you think at membership@contemporaryartsociety.org