This September will see a solo Project Space show from the Brazilian artist Renato Bezerra de Mello, exploring the theme of childhood. We have just received some exciting images of the work in progress...
For his first exhibition in the UK the Brazilian artist Renato Bezerra de Mello has created a child’s universe - a meditation on the early interests and experiences that provide the framework for an adult’s life. His works are often autobiographical in nature, featuring collections of personally significant artefacts. In past works he has
presented collections of self-addressed postcards, collectively forming a daily journal of his activities, as well as old family photographs.
While the scenario he presents in the Project Space is fictional, it has a clear autobiographical dimension: The glass marbles he collected as a child are represented by balls of coloured chalk scattered across the floor – a childhood game expressed in the materials of his later artistic practice. The layered, delicate images of flowers reproduce the motifs printed on a tablecloth that was used for childhood lunches with his siblings. He comments: ‘I used to draw flowers as a child but, being a boy, I showed them to no-one.’
The exhibition also includes a concertina-folded series of drawings in which he depicts the kinds of little houses we recognise from fairytales and fables. Returning us to narratives known of old, we might associate them with the dwellings of kind and honest woodcutters or terrifying old hags. They prime the imagination.
Childhood is also the theme of a short but haunting video titled Mes enfants, mes enfants, a work that adds to the viewer’s overall experience of accumulations of matter, of an emphatic repetition of significant images and the remembrance of important events.
|All images © Renato Bezerra de Mello (2011)