A review of Geroge Maund's exhibition, 'Plastic Flowers', at Serchia Gallery.  
To read the published article complete with images please follow the link below to Serchia Gallery. 
Ideas of manhood have changed drastically in a short space of time. To go back even a decade or two would be to encounter now outdated stereotypes that suggest “manliness” involves some degree of stoicism, physical might, and an avoidance of emotion that now more closely resembles an element of disassociation than strength of character. What George Maund outlines here at Serchia Gallery is no grand statement on these societal shifts in perception, rather he meets this generational change in a quiet collaboration of objects and subjects alike, with his own father forming a metaphorical bridge of-sorts, suggestive of the evolution of ideas surrounding masculinity.

‘Plastic Flowers’ boasts an impressive display of portraiture, still life, and landscape in a succinct but highly effective exhibition, with Maund’s self-published book by the same name accompanying. Though this is an exhibition of varying photographic avenues it is his portraits that activate the conversation of masculinity, acting as a pretext and point of entry. His models, assume both vulnerability as well as material presence; participants that seek no authority, and who rather become a part of the material fabric of Maund’s observations. These supine and recumbent figures play as characters in a tableau that rids itself of the confines of the singular image and instead inhabits the entire series on display. With wilting flowers and neglected spaces appearing adjacent to these figures there develops a narrative of fragility and the necessity of care. Questions soon arise regarding the fortitude of the male ego, John Donne’s infamous words ‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’ ringing true. 

There is a sensitivity to Maund’s work in every sense. Not only does he observe the nuance of masculinity with empathy, but he does so with a visibly delicate touch. One becomes aware of the responsibility he takes as an artist, whose tactility with his surroundings and those close to him translates into his treatment of the medium itself. By including contact prints he offers with a transparency of process his physical connection to photography. The photographic image itself becomes an object of his unique visual language; the image becomes something to be held and supported with a duty of care, to be witnessed and at the same instance felt. By implementation of our sensory faculties George Maund recognises that to see is in many ways to touch. ‘Plastic Flowers’ becomes a testament to not only the physical process and intimacy all photographers experience but also Maund’s own personal presence as an artist. He therefore negates the typical misconception of photography being a gesturally detached artistic medium, instead imbuing it with a very real sense of action and performance. 

It is rare to find works that’s converse naturally within a gallery space. Whilst the work and the environment may be of the very highest quality there can remain a distance between the two, a disjuncture, at times subtle but nevertheless present. In the instance of George Maund’s work at Serchia Gallery this is not the case. The intimacy of Maund’s subject matter marries perfectly with the tranquillity of Serchia Gallery. There is a feeling of completeness when viewing ‘Plastic Flowers’ whereby the borders of the frames seem to dissolve and become no more than fixtures akin to that of the wooden shutters. In the same way that Maund’s contact prints show an all-encompassing intimacy between photographic negative and paper, so does the feeling of integration between space and work in this exhibition. This seamless collaboration thereby offers viewers an unhindered chance to meditate on what masculinity means, how it is being reimagined, and what the future of it will be.
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