The Value of the Paw: Cathie Pilkington at London’s Museum of Childhood

Bethnal Green’s V&A Museum of Childhood has always been a queer, wondrous hall of curios. Since the Cathie Pilkington cast of characters moved in, the mood has grown ever more strange – and her art has, she says “enthralled and appalled” children and adults alike. Cathie, a graduate from the Royal College of Art, lives and works in Bethnal Green – right by her creations.

Pilkington studied BA Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art (1985–91) and was awarded the first John Watson Prize for Art upon graduating in 1991, with a show at the Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She went on to study Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1995–97) following which she was awarded the Cheltenham Fine Art Fellowship in 1998.

Singerie is the first model by Cathy Pilkington I came across in the in her The Value of The Paw exhibition at the museum. Seven monkeys sit along a table, their feet peep out under the white tablecloth, dangling from plastic chairs. They’ve been having a party. Bunting and balloons trail on the floor, and there’s a mess – used cups and spilled food.  It looks like fun. Such fun, in fact, that a little toddler tried to launch itself into the scrum.

But Singerie isn’t simple fun and games: some of the monkeys, peculiarly, wear skin-coloured masks. Cathie explained: “It’s always been important to me to communicate to people on lots of levels. It’s interesting to see how the children all think they’re really fun and lovely while the adults think they’re really creepy and unsettling.

“Sangerie means monkey trick. It’s an old French genre of artwork where animals ape human behaviour. The work is a kind of satire, which is funny and sad”.

For full interview & feature go to Fluxlings
The exhibition is on until May 5th 2012 at www.museumofchildhood.org.uk. Cathie Pilkington is represented by Marlborough Fine Art.

London art show preview by Joanna Eckersley

Tags:

You May Also Like

future of film

Drones – the future of film?

words Chris Zacharia From Polaroids to digital cameras, photography has always been transformed by ...

Simon Patterson on The Dark Would exhibition and the brink of failure

Simon Patterson describes himself as a film fan, and he has experimented with video ...

Super-realist artist Richard Maurovic at the Saatchi Gallery – Vivid Australian Narrative

Adelaide artist Richard Maurovic’s career has taken a dramatic international upswing. The brutalistic industrial ...

costumes by Anto Christ and Casio Ono

The Garden of Ancient Planes – Conceptual costumes by Anto Christ and Casio Ono

We love it when talented people put themselves on the line and create something ...

Riccardo Iacono

Riccardo Iacono – This Orientation – Summit Gallery

This Orientation is the first exhibition at Summit Gallery – a unique, new space ...

Manchester exhibition

Into the Deep Woods – Manchester exhibition explores the forest

Into the Deep Woods – Artists explore the forest in this Manchester exhibition – ...