Discombobuloscopy review by Caitlin Moss

Set in the The Bloom in Birkenhead, the Discombobuloscopy exhibition open night portrayed the new work by Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould. Roxy Topia and Paddy Gould have been collaborating together for over a decade with their work mostly consisting of multi layered paintings crossing into the realms of relief. The artwork is a critical example of that theme within their work. This artwork consisted of a tri-fold modesty screen with hand cut MDF, metal and polymer clay. Discombobuloscopy challenges the narrative behind the modesty screen acting as an isolated barrier to give one privacy whether through medical examination or costume change. Discombobuloscopies aim was to stimulate the question of how conscious we are of our bodies and if we are a vehicle for the microorganisms we house. 

Walking into the exhibition, the first thing I noticed was the modesty screen acting as a barrier forcing the viewer to walk around and make the journey to the other side of the piece. This could make the viewer question the journey of microorganisms making their way into a body and becoming a part of us. I believe that the most interesting aspect of the piece was the psychedelia colours juxtaposed against the melting aesthetics of the digital collage shapes. The contrasting 3 dimensional figure forms against the 2 dimensional painted imagery allows the viewer to question the physical boundaries of the piece. 

The exhibition housed an estimated 50 people coming together to journey through the meaning of Discombobuloscopy together. The single room featured cool tone lights shining directly in certain spots of the artwork to accentuate its bright psychedelic colours and contiguity textures bring focus to particular shapes to represent the biomorphic elements within the piece. However, an aspect I felt the absence of was an informative label of the artwork. While there were a few leaflets and clipboards handed around with a few details of the work and the artist's aim I feel that if there was a QR code allowing a more detailed description of the piece and what it represents it would’ve created a more understanding audience. Another interesting informative aspect however was the artists participation at the opening night of the exhibition. This allowed viewers and commentators to ask the artists any questions they had, gaining instant feedback about their views on the piece. Most people I spoke with saw something different in the piece and this allowed the artists to see sides of their own work that they wouldn’t have without the exhibition.

In summary, I believe that Discombobuloscopy reached its target audience and fulfilled its aim to represent the journey of microorganisms through the body and the questions that it could raise. On its opening night the audience gathered around studying both sides of the modesty screen questioning the comparison and differences of all aspects of the piece creating a participation element though communicating together and questioning each individual meaning. The artist’s questions I believe were answered and represented through the use of mediums, expressive psychedelic colours and contiguitical textures and I am looking forward to the artist's next exhibition.

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