Having spent the last few years creating images resonating from her unconscious mind, the catalyst that committed Spotlight Artist Toni Gallagher to pursuing her dreams came when she was lucky enough to spend an hour on the fourth plinth during Anthony Gomley’s one and other project in 2009.
Her experience as a set designer and storyteller has no doubt directed the focus on hyper reality. Working in mixed media, the execution is determined by the individual project. Her current body of work aims to recreate ‘The Lady That Swallowed A Fly’ in x-rays.
These images are the beginning of immersing herself in the kaleidoscope of life, where the ugly can be beautiful, and the beautiful can be ugly. The images will come together from 8 November in her first solo show: The Gluttonous Lady That Swallowed A Fly.
We asked her a few questions about the show and herself:
What can we expect of the Gluttonous Lady That Swallowed A Fly?
The whole body of work started when I decided to bring two projects together. The first was an image I wanted to create with x-rays based on a nursery rhyme. The other idea I was mulling over was The Seven Deadly sins, specifically Gluttony. The two ideas seem to click, this interesting lady and her misplaced desire for food. The exhibition includes photographs, x-rays and some sculpture. Seline Bullocke captured the essence of the show in ‘Art of England’ with her comment ‘ the presence of dualities that embody complex notions of attraction, repulsion and voyeurism is one of the hallmarks of this inventive exhibition’
What inspires you in the story of the seven deadly sins?
I am fascinated by humans and our tendency to sin. From time to time life forces us to look inwardly, at our spiritual shortcomings. Developing this exhibition has been an interesting experience, at times touching on my own personal relationship with food. I have pondered recently if life is imitating art or art is imitating life.
What are the prospects for the upcoming deadly sin shows?
I will not start working on the next sin until 2013. the inspiration has to come naturally, and from my everyday life and experiences.
Can you tell us a bit more about the x-ray motif in your art?
Originally the x-rays were the most intriguing way to prove this nursery rhyme to be true. I think x-rays are fascinating, beautiful images. They lent themselves incredibly well with the beauty of kaleidoscopes.
I spent a lot of time researching x-rays and once I realised I could not find an x-ray of a horse I knew I had to make one.
What is your favourite YouTube link?
I don't have time to watch YouTube, but I do have music videos on a lot in the background while I am working. I start with one video and if you you follow their recommendations you end up watching a lot of bizarre videos.
What is your favorite west London hang-out?
One of my favourite places has to be The Electric on Portobello. I love slinking into a booth and working there in the daytime. They also serve my favorite cocktail, watermelon martini, which is a good start to the weekend.
Finally, do you have an interesting fact to share with us?
Yes, banging your against a wall burns about 150 calories an hour. I follow @MindblowingFact on Twitter, where I found this fact. I would highly recommend following them. They make me laugh at least once a day.