Ruth Barker

To Break it or Burn it or Steal it and Keep it




Stephanie Connelly

To Break it or Burn it or Steal it and Keep it

Glasgow Sculpture Studios Gallery

152 Bridgegate, Glasgow

November 2005


Connelly’s solo exhibition brings out the best of this under-represented city centre space as her intangibly linked works spell out an indelible message.

Connelly’s fastidiously crafted sculptures appear seduced by the latent formal beauty of mechanised line or use. The military echo of an undisclosed clarion call hangs in the air above a rack of wooden rifles which resemble nothing so much as shadows of themselves cast in oiled ply. Elsewhere on the ground floor, a regimented grid of coloured ribbons reincarnate as the honour badges of unknown regiments, while a stack of hexagonal structures poised atop a yellow sphere is both the geometric dream of a turquoise honeycomb, and a tiny, multi-muzzled Supergun. Upstairs on the mezzanine, Connelly’s epic series of sculptural suggestions continues as Utopia speaks softly through a blur of mechanical music and yellow bee-like forms precariously pick out the grained landscape of a single wooden block.

The tone of Connelly’s investigation is captured most succinctly through her single photograph of a sunlit car burnt and pitted with bullet-holes. This small, low-key image sits in the corner of the upstairs gallery as an explanation which leaves as many questions as it answers. ‘To Break it or Burn it…’ is unselfconsciously a gem.