02.12.07 'Paper-thin worlds', Blueprint, December 2007

Man&Eve gallery was established in 2006 by Lucy Newman Cleeve – the title is taken from the second halves of her maiden and married names. Newman Cleeve is interested in artists whose work is processed oriented or contextual, where the finished result is often a beautifully crafted object. Her latest show perfectly expounds this philosophy, with work from three RCA graduates, Sam Messenger, Sarah Bridgland and Larissa Nowicki. All three work intricately with paper. There is, according to Newman Cleeve, “something monastic about their practice”. Messenger’s drawings attempt to replicate mechanical processes by hand following a set of self-imposed rules. Bridgland’s tiny, fragile sculptures could fit into a match box, while Nowicki uses printed paper – maps and books – to create delicate hand woven pieces. All three deal with the relationship between the mass media and the handmade, but as Newman Cleeve says, “The issue of craftsmanship remains the ultimate mark of human agency in these works.”

Vicky Richardson.