Reviews


Reviews of Marigold

Islington Gazette August 5 1993.Paul Ravenscroft
Gloves at First Sight

Passers-by have been baffled by a window stuffed 
with red and yellow rubber gloves in Rosebery 
Avenue, Finsbury.

The display is the latest in a series of "window 
installations" by artist Maggie Ellenby, titled 
Marigolds, and made using a florist's techniques 
to create a design with a flower-like quality.

The gloves were surplus stock donated by the 
Marigold Houseglove company.

Previous window displays included paper lit up 
at nightby ultraviolet light, an illuminated 
"Speed Kills, Jesus Saves" design and a "Pause" 
sign which returns while she considers what to 
do next.

Maggie describes her work as being "all about an 
urban landscape", and the window installations as 
"art for travelling past".

And there is more to come, although she wants to 
keep her next project secret. "My next project will 
have to be another surprise!" she says.

Time Out September 1-8 1993. Robin Dutt
 
Maggie Ellenby

Housed in an empty shop opposite Sadlers Wells in 
Islington is Maggie Ellenby's installation of 
Marigold rubber gloves. It's not every day one bumps 
into so many gloves crammed into a little box window, 
and the effect is not entirely unpleasant. Stripped 
of their domesticity, the gloves - red in one window 
and yellow in another, all in a blue box frame - 
create intense areas of colour. At first glance, the 
many layered, multi-digit kitchen familiars resemble 
collapsed cows udders or flat teats from an S&M 
game. The poetically inclined might even be reminded 
of luminous fields of orange flowers. Marigolds for 
instance.

Ellenby's point is to unveil the strangeness and 
poeticism in everyday objects. By placing the 
seemingly mundane in unexpected situations, they 
take on a weird and wonderful life of their own. 
We've all put on a pair of rubber gloves in our 
time, most of us to do the washing up, some of us 
to explore the seamier side of life. But whether 
the piece intrigues or just reminds you to include 
a pair on the weekly shopping-list these humble 
objects worm their way into one's consciousness.

Daily Express August 23 1993. Sam Taylor
 
You've got to hand it to her

If you got down to the theatre today you'll be in 
for a big surprise.

In a gallery window opposite the otherwise sedate 
Sadlers Wells, the artist Maggie Ellenby is 
continuing her series of window installations with  
Marigold (price on application), an exhibition of 
household rubber gloves.

Using a technique employed by florists when making 
the elaborate local funerals. Ellenby has filled 
the windows with red and yellow rubber gloves.

She claims to enjoy the fortuitous correlation 
between the flowerlike  and their trade name - 
Art as Product. Product as Nature.

And you thought they were just for washing up.

The Independent 19 October 1993. Iain Gale
 
Modern Icons

I've worked a lot in rubber and I've used gloves 
before  but in a very tactile way. This piece, 
"Marigold", came out of looking at the local funerals. 
They have amazing flower pieces that say "Mum" and 
"Dad". But it was obvious that I should be more 
minimalist and so it became a colour-field work. 
I use materials for what they are but then they 
take on connotations. I'm very much a formalist 
but that doesn't mean there aren't other things 
going on here. It's that Shakespearean thing of 
the city being the beehive. I'm interested in the 
sociology of the street. The audience brings things 
to it. It seems to appeal to the Fifties housewife 
generation. The gloves are domestic and pretty  
and I like the way they grope the window.

Review of "No"

The Times October 19 1994. Sacha Craddock

Maggie Ellenby has repeatedly used the same shop 
window for her work.It really doesn't pretend to be 
much more than something to walk past or see from 
the bus as it turns the corner. The current 
installation, which has  thousands of individual 
marshmallows filling the window to spell out a 
thin and shaky "No", is part of a consistent plan 
of artistic activity. In a gallery this idea might 
seem to be only about extending the range of art 
made from confectionery, but here it works much 
better. Is this a general protest? Is it serious? 
And at what kind of level is such suddenly surprising 
street art supposed to operate?

News Item on "Shadow"

Art Monthly March 1995. Art Notes
 
Nightmare on Rosebery Avenue

Maggie Ellenby's recent installation at 108 
Rosebery Avenue,"Shadow" was cause for the 
emergency services to be called  in January. 
The outline image of a man in jeans and a bomber 
jacket - projected onto a screen - was mistaken 
by three boys for a real man hanging in the window 
near Sadlers Wells Theatre. Upon arrival of the 
police and ambulance, Ellenby apologised for the 
false alarm and for the misinterpretation of the 
image, and was told that she may be under threat 
of arrest and prosecution for the 'use of images 
in a public situation which could be perceived as 
offensive or threatening'. After seeking legal 
advice, the lights were turned back on in the 
installation, but the figure had been adjusted so 
as to avoid any further confusion. The works are 
intended to deal with aspects of everyday life, 
and while this time Ellenby says her work may 
perhaps have been a little too successful, she is 
somewhat consoled by the fact that the boys did 
take action and call for help. 'People often see 
incidents and remain bystanders.'

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