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Review: Moyra Davey, Life Without Sheets of Paper to be Scribbled on is Masterpiece

Tuesday 22 April 2014
Words Darren Skene

Winning the prize for best (and longest) exhibition tile of the year, Moyra Davey looks at the everyday passing of time and memory through photography, film and writing.

Creating a series of visual essays, the subject matter of her imagery is the everyday, almost mundane aspects of life. With this, she takes us on an intimate journey, interweaving narratives from her day-to-day life and memories of her relationships and influences. The nature of the imagery raises the issue of perception – how different people view the world and the experiences they encounter. How would someone else have perceived that things that Davey has seen – would they even have noticed them at all?

Installation view of Moyra Davey; life without sheets of paper to be scribbled on is masterpiece

Interestingly, a lot of her work in the exhibition has been posted – the images themselves have been folded into the form of a letter – some with snippets of text, almost like a stream of consciousness or a diary. The physical journey these letters have taken and the tangibility of them as physical objects (in our digital, virtual age), only serve to highlight their intimate nature and somehow make them more precious – evoking the feelings you might have had when you last received a letter in the post from someone special.

A series produced especially for this exhibition, Subway Writers, photographs people writing as they ride the New York subway and was posted directly to Camden Arts Centre. It feels like a small insight into people’s lives, making you wonder what they might have been writing and thinking about. It’s certainly a refreshing take on voyeurism after the recent controversy over the appalling ‘Women Who Eat On Tubes‘ Facebook group.

Subway Writers

Moyra Davey: Life Without Sheets of Paper to be Scribbled on is Masterpiece is at Camden Arts Centre until 29th June.

Featured Image: Taken from Subway Writers