Clare Strand's sleight of hand

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The Independent Culture

Photographer Clare Strand’s first UK solo exhibition Sleight is an array of visual trickery, conjuring and the absurd.

The show, which opens at the new Bancolini Grimaldi gallery in Mayfair on Friday, brings together two of Strand’s most recent bodies of work, Ten Most Least Wanted and Skirts, featuring visions of women falling in aerial suspension (above) and tables dressed in gigantic pleated skirts.

These new works are a step into the surreal from a normally utilitarian-orientated artist whose CV lists her key inspirations as forensic photography and instruction manuals.

In Skirts Strand gives tables a feminine guise by adorning them in specially fashioned pleated garments. Traditional ideas of table dressing and table cloths are not that far removed from the vision of a table wearing a skirt is – which is, when you look at one at first and then look twice in bewilderment, an example of the artists’ continual sleights of hand.

Ten Least Most Wanted is a selection of the artist’s favourite cuttings from her research scrapbooks. She has encased these in clear acrylic and displayed them in the reverse. The fragmented results, which gives a glimpse of the newsprint and pictures on the paper’s other side, manipulates the favoured images original form and the snatches of writing provide accidental wit.

Selected works from Strand’s extensive oeuvre will be exhibited alongside the two new bodies of work.

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Sleight: Clare Strand opens 27 May until 2 July at the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, London