O3 Gallery’s current show, ‘Underland’ is an exhibition of contemporary fine art by various artists. Taking its inspiration from established stories such as those found in Greek mythology, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and the more contemporary ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, O3 Gallery’s Underland explores the imagined terrain, characters and occurrences of the underworld.
Bristol-based husband and wife team Davy and Kristin McGuire are one of the artists exhibiting. Together they run an award-winning studio utilising the skills learnt from their different backgrounds: Davy’s in theatre and film, Kristin’s in dance. The duo design unique visual experiences through art installations and theatrical projects, producing delicate artworks built with fragile materials that are momentarily brought to life through digital projections and silent storytelling. The McGuire’s piece in Underland is ‘Jam Jar Fairies’, a magical installation in which fairies are trapped in glass cages, knocking to escape…also known as a video sculpture to the less whimsical. We asked the pair some questions to find out what makes them tick:
How does it feel to be part of the O3 Gallery’s Underland exhibition?
As soon as we saw the title and the description of the exhibition we thought: This is us! It‘s so fitting that we even considered asking you if we could use some of the copy for describing what we do.
Career-wise you come from quite different backgrounds, how has this influenced the work you produce? And who is responsible for what?
For every project we basically take on the roles that naturally appeal to us for the creative process of that particular piece of work. There are no fixed roles because every new work usually requires us to learn new skills and we find out who wants to do what as we go along. We think our different personalities probably influence our work more than our different backgrounds because they really compliment each other. When Kristin says that something is not possible because of time/budget and resources Davy says Let‘s do it!
The piece on display in the Underland exhibition is ‘Jam Jar Fairies’, but trapping nymphs in vessels is just one aspect of your work, could you describe some of your favourite pieces to us?
Davy‘s favourite piece is called Pinboard which really needs to be seen to be understood. It‘s a pinboard full of blank pieces and bits of paper which are mapped with video projections. The projections bring each paper to life in order to tell the story of a couple through a love song. It was one of our first pieces of work and people still really take to it. Kristin loves The Haunted Dress which is an installation in which the dress of a pretty malevolent fairy queen comes to life with video projections and sound. It‘s a really haunting experience of the ghost of a very beautiful woman telling the audience how she seduced and then abandoned a man who subsequently went mad.
What inspired you to work in your chosen mediums, combining fragile detailed paper creations with projections, for instance?
Hmm, projections are great for creating magic, for adding a surreal layer to the existing world. It‘s the perfect technique for the worlds we are interested in creating. We love the way paper takes light, so the combination of paper and projections was just a great match.
Would you say your work draws on the same themes as some of the other pieces in Underland, on ancient mythology and historic folklore?
Oh yes! We love the combination of dark and beautiful and a lot of folk tales are about exactly that dichotomy.
Underland runs until the 13th July, so be sure to glimpse the fairies before they disappear back into the ether.
For enquiries about Davy & Kristin McGuire’s work please contact O3 Gallery:
T: 01865 246131
To find out more about the current exhibition, visit O3 Gallery or keep an eye on our social media channels:
For more about Davy & Kristin McGuire visit: http://www.davyandkristinmcguire.com/