Stephanie  Mann Print3
Stephanie Mann, ‘Liquid tension: slip down, you’re in Possibility’, 2016. Printed on diabond in black wood tray frame. Credit the artist.

The intimate insides of my head i n order of appearance….

[1] When a functional gadget like an umbrella is pared down to its graphic skeleton, a rope is gracefully draped, and a decorative plate intensifies a bin liner’s colour and texture, we are confronted with the suspension of certain routines that commonly direct our everyday perception and that anticipate how things are categorized long before they rise into our conscious awareness.

It all began with an umbrella, which led me on to….

[2] The Treachery of Images – Ceci n’est pas une pipe (“This is not a pipe”)

The pipe stayed out of it. Not intentionally, he’s a bit out of fashion these days.

[3] We, in a glance, perceive three wine glasses on the table; Funes saw all the shoots, clusters, and grapes of the vine. He remembered the shapes of the clouds in the south at dawn on the 30th of April of 1882, and he could compare them in his recollection with the marbled grain in the design of a leather-bound book which he had seen only once, and with the lines in the spray which an oar raised in the Rio Negro on the eve of the battle of the Quebracho….My memory, sir, is like a garbage disposal.

Memories. In or out of fashion? A mess and mass of mystery, history, paradox and so much more. Can we ever get away from them?

[4] Facial stubble holographically swivels into forest swamp. Impasto strokes swerve into smudges of cosmetic mung. A maxed out jam of Funky Chinese takeaway, Disco gore, mumsy notes of dangling necklace beads, incense sticks and basted ceramic.

Sit back and revel in this. Look closer.

[5] We find it familiar to consider objects as useful or esthetic, as necessities or vain indulgences. We are on less familiar ground when we consider objects as companions to our emotional lives or as provocations to thought. The notion of evocative objects brings together these two less familiar ideas, underscoring the inseparability of thought and feeling in our relationship to things. We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with.

Think about this.

[6] Plasticine cuddle, Doused in coloured sand.

Do you know what it is yet?

[7] Look at him with his sausage roll thumb
Look at him with his sausage roll thumb
Look at her with her washing line smile
Look at him with his dog dirt eyes
Look at her with her dressing gown nose
Look at him with his polythene bones
Look at her with her hairdryer heart
Look at him, look at him, look at him, look at

Does this provide any clues? Do you need a more accurate description?


A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading.

Depart from convention – I love the sound of those tender buttons!

[9] Oh, Tomato Purée! – let me lay you out and pummel those rigid furrows and creases! Reconnecting your fractured substance, so you might push aside the residue of previous abundance and come forth again, in all your kitsch and concentrated splendour.

Ultimate pur(é)efication! To see such splendour in the most mundane and bring it to life.

[10] “drinking a coke in a glass bottle and trying to picture myself living in the air bubbles the little gas particles popping and stretching to the surface like little splash explosions”.

Still? Alive…and blinging.

[11] These are not only the relics of the present or the detritus of mass consumption. They are feedback from a feeling in space and time.

A not too distant past, a present and a projection into the future…

[12] “It seems very pretty, but it’s rather hard to understand!
Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas – only I don’t exactly know what they are!”

Anyway….all I wanted to do was somehow try to explain.

[1] Lindenberg, Charlotte discussing Eva Berendes Grid Series in Figures & Routines, Jacky Strenz Galerie (2013)
[2] Magritte, René The Treachery of Images (1926) Oil on canvas.
[3] Borge, J. L from Funes the Memorious First published in 1942, it appeared in Fictions 1944 and Labyrinths 1962 Penguin Classics; New edition (2000)
[4] Scott, Samara written on the occasion of her solo exhibition Harvest (29 November 2014 – 18 January 2015) The Sunday Painter, London
[5] Turkle, Sherry Evocative Objects: Things we think with 2007 MIT Press, Reprint edition (2011)
[6] Mann, Stephanie Plasticine cuddle, Doused in coloured sand, Produced Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (Autumn 2015)
[7] The Lovely Eggs Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It) Cob Dominos (2011)
[8] Stein, Gertrude from OBJECTS, Tender Buttons 1914 Dover Publications Inc.; New edition (2003)
[9] Bennett, Claire-Louise from OH, TOMATO PURÉE!, POND 2015 Fitzcarraldo Editions Second edition (2015)
[10] Safavi, Vanessa written on the occasion of her solo exhibition 3 pounds of jelly ( 18 September – 16 November 2013) Chert Gallery, Berlin.
[11] Bailey, Stephanie Modernism on the Shore: Rallou Panagiotou ART PAPERS (Sept/Oct 2015)
[12] Lewis, C.S Through the Looking Glass (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) 1871 (Alice’s comment on the poem Jabberwocky )