Beyond Violet refers to the light situated beyond the visible spectrum - violet being the colour of the highest frequency of visible light. Realised through the mediums of sculpture, video and installation, this exhibition represents a formal and conceptual shift in Montague’s practice.
Referencing consumer goods, marketing, branding and product design, Montague’s work explores the materiality and inner workings of images and objects that we commonly consume. Her work subtly relates to the body; from the bottles of liquid we ingest, the sun-beds which we use for tanning to car mats where we place our feet. Relatable and commonplace, these objects are generally considered invaluable, however Montague explores the value we invest into them and the layers of marketing and design that create their implied worth and desirability. While the focus purposefully remains on the object, Montague subtly questions how these items place or infer value on the ‘individual’.
In the upper gallery, the artist has placed a re-purposed sun bed which emits benign light. It functions as a projection screen and a support structure for sculptural works. While the sun bed relates to cultures around body image and health, the projection activates the work, anthropomorphizing the objects to create a jubilant, immersive piece.
Combining digital and sculptural processes, Beyond Violet falls between minimalism, characterised by extreme simplicity, and conceptualism, in which the concepts and ideas involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Placing the objects in a gallery seeks to uncover the underlying economies ingrained within this source material while they assume a presence of greater significance than such common materials would naturally suggest. Nevertheless these objects are presented in a rough state, with the plaster and bamboo polished smooth while the edges of each piece are crumbling and delicate. Each object harbours the real potential to fall apart, comparable to the interventions we make to our own bodies and our intrinsic need to perfect and/or project ourselves. Beyond Violet, as the title suggest, seeks to go beyond these valuations.
Montague is currently based in Dublin. In 2012 she completed a MFA at Chelsea College of Art London and was the recipient of the Wexford Emerging Artist Award. Recent solo projects include Woman Flew Home (2013), The Black Mariah, Cork; Arm Around You (2012), Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales; TWO (2008), George Polke Gallery, London. Recent group exhibitions include This is Public and Sexy (2016), Studio 468, Dublin; (2016); What Does Nothing Do(2014), CCA, Glasgow; Bringing the Art Home (2014), Deptford X, London. Montague is co-founder and co-curator of PLASTIK, a Festival of Artists’ Moving Image and recent awards include TBG+S Project Studio Award (2014), Fire Station Sculpture Award (2014), The Red Mansion Shortlist (2012), and the Oriel Davies Open (2010).