Equilibrium and tension; nature and vegetables
Conceptions of nature and naturalness have grown so ragged through contradiction and ambiguity that, as terms, they’ve become almost unusable. This is no deterrent to Swiss artist Vanessa Billy. The title of her exhibition of sculptures and collages at Christina Wilson Gallery earlier this year declared that ‘Natural means something like vegetables’. This guilelessly simple statement is, for Billy, a characteristic blend of irony and sincerity. As she sees it, ‘natural’ does mean something simultaneously as earthy and as cultivated as vegetables; naturalness inheres in matter, and extends to everything around us. Billy sees it as her job to point this out.