Barry Cleavin: Bitter Suites

14 October – 28 November 1985

This was an exhibition of 24 etchings by Canterbury trained artist Barry Cleavin. The works were grouped into the following series: Bitter Suites, Child's Play, Birds of a Feather and The Adversities. All were printed by Denise Copeland.

In these works, instruments of war with symbols of death fuse with unsettling verbal twists and double meanings. Each are meant to shock in a slightly different way. They are firmly in the traditional role of the etching as the pre-eminent vehicle for social comment; part of a long tradition from Piranesi, Goya to Kollwitz and Heartfield. In Cleavin's words, it is "all about people not registering between fact and fantasy." Cleavin's work implies, the result of our inability to fathom the horrendous consequences of our own making is alarming.