Your Space Or Mine
Hearts, eyeballs, petals, teeth, smiles, worms, wedges, a grinning grey rat and fly agaric mushroom jostle around, behind, over and in between vertically arranged black letters that spell ‘Love’. Pink flicky drips, rocket powered bananas and those miniature mountains looking very fondly at one another. The whole shebang is a psychedelic, loony love-in.
Whitehouse observed how in Birmingham “All the places where I love to eat, drink and hang out with friends are sadly closing their doors. But despite the challenges I’ve seen so much compassion and support in our community… It reminds me how bloody brilliant this city is.”
In ‘Hope’ the smiling Mickey Mouse gloves make an appearance again, the rat wearing shades is there too but he’s pink this time. The word ‘Hope’ beams out amidst the mayhem in sunny yellow. The spatial playfulness in Whitehouse’s work is astonishing. If ‘Love’ has the feel of a freaky featured inferno, ‘Hope’ with its planets and spaceship reaches beyond the clouds to infinity.
Both works afford a joyful panacea to corona worries. The scramble of craziness also reminds us what happy gatherings used to be like. Whitehouse’s clever compositions let us imagine his visual cacophonies go beyond the frame, as if they are snapshots of some jubilant crowd on a beach, in the street, at a club. Meanwhile it’s a delight to lose yourself in these hypnotic, hallucinatory works. While we wait for the lovely days to return.