The Coningsby Gallery

Debut Art

Outstanding contemporary illustration
and graphic and fine art.

Anna FC Smith: BURPology - Harry Hill’s TV Burp as Carnival

Anna FC Smith: BURPology - Harry Hill’s TV Burp as Carnival

Solo Show curated by Jo Guile (lead) and Nathalie Boobis (assistant)

21st - 26th January 2013

Private View: Tuesday 22nd January 2013, 6.30 – 9pm

This exhibition is the culmination of a year-long Arts Council England funded project in which Anna FC Smith has been exploring Harry Hill’s TV Burp as a configuration of European Carnival (1300-1700)

In this exhibition of watercolours, drawings and mixed folk media work, Smith has sought to define and spotlight components of TV Burp using a combination of ethnographic methods (drawing and watercolours) and selected folk media (papier-mâché sculptures, knitted works, thimbles and clay character pots). By creating these ethnographic studies and new folk artefacts, Smith invites us to re-examine the context in which we view TV Burp.

Her sensitive and expressive two-dimensional works examine the action of the television show with the keen observation of an anthropologist. The three-dimensional pieces draw from the folk iconography of Naïve commemorative memorabilia. Collectively, they present TV Burp’s elements and key characters as rituals and archetypes, with relayed slapstick, distorted faces, and characterful expressions. The works purposefully retain and convey the humour and silliness of TV Burp; qualities that are integral to the very essence of a Carnival approach to life.

The exhibition playfully demonstrates how certain traditions repeatedly manifest in society. Smith encourages the viewer to reflect on their own responses to Hill’s parody of the world of television and to understand this unintentional carnival “born out of the traditions in the blood and moulded by the laughter of the audience”[1] as a continuation of a fluctuating folk institution. Accordingly, Smith highlights the enduring methods in which we humans engage and deal with our existence.

Accompanying the exhibition there will be a book of essays comparing the activities on the television programme, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, with the historic phenomena they relate to.

‘BURPology - Harry Hill’s TV Burp As Carnival’ at the Conningsby Gallery, London, is curated by Jo Guile with curatorial assistance from Nathalie Boobis. The show will be returning to the artist’s hometown of Wigan for exhibition after its London premier. The curation of the Wigan show will be led by Nathalie Boobis with curatorial assistance from Jo Guile.