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Art Editorial

vaneecdavies17.jpg Pussy Riot have let themselves go

It’s always a joy to welcome back EC Davies to Vane, and ‘Press Play and Record’, her third solo show at the gallery, brings together work she has completed over the last three years.

The greatest pop songs work because they take a universal theme – love or loneliness for example – and give them a sense of transcendence through sheer force of melody that affects on us on a deeper level than if we’d just simply read the lyrics. They might seem throwaway, easy to produce, but how often does, say, a God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, come along?

Similarly, EC Davies manages to straddle the playful with the profound in her work which she often seems to have produced while rummaging through a big box of fun. Masks, dressing up and her trademark ‘Love Dolls’ - angels in cuddly toy form - are all brought to bear, as, indeed, is music, with song lyrics, communal singing and pop videos all part of her world in which she teases real emotion from artifice. This exhibition includes video, animation, sound works and textiles and is straight in at number one in my book.

Press Play and Record, 20 May-1 July, Vane, First Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, Wed-Sat 12-5pm. vane.org.uk