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Heaven's Security Service

Forum > Trash

Stairway to Heaven

Mark Curtis at Ledge Gallery
8 Sep 2007 - 29 Sep 2007

by John Hurrell


Hamilton’s mini-gallery Ledge is found just around the corner from RAMP in Collingwood St, in the adjacent Media Arts foyer out the back. It usually presents its exhibitions enclosed within a Perspex box, like a conventional museum vitrine but attached to a wall. That practice often seems to curtail the site’s true potential, and sometimes looks absurd, especially on occasions when only a single painting is enclosed.


How refreshing it is then to see an exhibit where the see-through acrylic cover is removed and the work extends upwards to the ceiling. Ledge is - at last – actually what it calls itself: just a shelf on a wall.


I tend to dislike cute art, but Mark Curtis’ Stairway to Heaven, though sweet and funny, is witty with a little bite. And definitely unusual. Heaven is the name of a popular gay nightclub in London – in Charing Cross. Curtis’ sculpture shows a ladder ascending to a cloud nesting where the ceiling meets the wall. At its base is a handsome security man toting glitter-coated carbines. At the top, in true Rococo fashion, are five darling, bare-assed angels hovering around the cloud, feathered wings a-fluttering, all keen to get on the dance floor.


A bouncer with a machine gun is perhaps a little excessive, but this vigilant version of St. Peter is determined to keep troublemakers out. Guarding the base of Jacob’s Ladder our squared jawed hero means business, carrying two loaded pieces, not one. You probably don’t need guns on the streets of London, but Curtis’ version of this club is in downtown Hamilton. No point in taking chances.







stairway-to-Heaven-1-4 Stairway-to-Heaven-3-4

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