Kerbel's fantastic fairground posters introduce a world of imaginary figures.
Janice Kerbel works with a range of materials, including drawing, text, audio and print, to explore the indefinite space between reality and fiction, and between abstraction and representation. Her work frequently involves extensive research, and takes the forms of plans, proposals, scripts or announcements for imaginative scenarios that cannot or will not actually happen. In conveying these imagined events, Kerbel draws upon the potentiality of language and text.
In this exhibition, Kerbel is showing two works from the Remarkable series. Originally commissioned for Frieze Projects (for the 2007 Frieze Art Fair), the posters use precisely fanciful language to describe the appearance of a number of elusive and otherworldly characters. Borrowing from the hyperbolic language of fairground announcements, figures introduced in the series include: The Human Firefly, Faintgirl, One-Eyed Soothsayer and World's Shyest Person, The Regurgitating Lady and Temperamental Barometric Contortionist. The large format silk-screen posters were created digitally using typefaces inspired by the nineteenth-century letterpress. Each letter was set manually into the page in a laborious process that creates subtle variations in the uniformity of each work.
Janice Kerbel was born in Toronto in 1969, and studied at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver and Goldsmith's College, London. She now lives and works in London. The artist has had a number of solo exhibitions at institutions across the UK, including Norwich Gallery of Art, 2003, and Arnolfini, Bristol, 2000. Kerbel will be showing at greengrassi, London, in the autumn.