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Posted: 8th November 2013

This was one of the exhibitions on at Manchester City Art Gallery during a recent visit.

Alison Erika Forde, represented by The International 3 has created a sinister feeling exhibition around bric-a-brac and charity shop objects.

Although I started seeing the exhibition, immediately I went - 'Oh, a shed!'.

It was covered by cardboard and painted cartoon-like with yellow ochre and burnt umber to represent a garden shed.

The original door (with painted mushrooms) was a decorative touch - and defined the idea that objects have history. The net curtains on the windows and the bright yellow walls altered the space too.

At the time though, there was nothing really written about the shed and it was only going to the website could I find out something about it...

"For this new show, 12 previously unseen works are playfully displayed together, both within and around a small wooden hut that has been specially created by the artist.

From the outside, Forde’s works and the house itself are evocative of children’s stories such as Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. It’s innocently enchanting on first look, but just like all the best fairy-tales, step inside and you’ll quickly discover things aren’t always as they seem…"

I gather that the wooden hut itself is merel a backdrop to the paintings, but it was interesting to see how a space within a gallery space works.

Another technical point for this piece was the door hanging. Perhaps also within the gallery setting and issues around 'permission', but it didn't feel inviting. That may be the intention, but I can't help but feel that there would have been more of a visual impact if it had been an inviting space, your got into the quite enclosed area and then were subjected to the paintings and their undertones.