Chopsticks Optional is an exhibition about boundaries, about collaboration and crossovers between two very different practices. It is also the pseudonym for the collective work of Corinne Felgate and John Walter. In investigating their personal and professional friendship, Felgate and Walter have pooled their skills and ideas to produce a multitude of new works. These include artist’s books, costumes, paintings, performances, photographs and sculptures. After establishing a collaborative language, they expanded their practice further, working photographer Ollie Harrop and then with 8 performers from The London Contemporary Dance School. In another context the body of work they have produced might be considered a fashion collection with corresponding catwalk show. Hawever, in the context of the Nunnery each piece becomes a performance and a non-replicable ‘one-off’, treading the line between art and fashion. ‘Chopsticks Optional’, therefore, considers both the boundaries of the individual artists’ practices and those of art itself. The two artists devised the project as a potential antidote to the prevailing trends within the London art scene; they are discombobulated by the repetitive references to Modernism and the Haiku-like conceptualism which abounds; instead they offer a heady maximalism; visually luxurious, loaded with art historical references but also charged with humour and wit.
The show has already received great coverage....
Creative Review recommends the exuberance of Chopsticks Optional as an antidote to 'the Minimalism on display in many of the contemporary art galleries across London'
Flux Magazine describes the show as 'a cross-fertilization; of ideas, media and personalities' and suggests keeping an eye out for 'Chopsticks Optional the movie or the musical' in the future.