Jock Mooney’s work explores the cultural outpourings of the human mind, whether his own or that of the world at large. His work can be seen as concerned with the liberation of the human spirit through confronting us with our own everyday ridiculousness, an anarchic and never-ending project of emancipation that attempts to break apart oppressive and redundant forms of thought and clear a path for the imagination.

Inventory (2004-ongoing) is a collection of trestle tables piled high with tiny models meticulously crafted by the artist himself. Like the contents of a dysfunctional Kinder Surprise egg, this collection of bastardised ‘toys’ – effigies of political, historical, mythical and religious figures, cartoon characters, and the like – coalesces into a rabble of votive figurines, in turn creating what might be described as a kind of ‘ritual topography’, each figure a potential harbinger of fear, threat or ridicule. With their exaggerated and distorted physical characteristics, they appear offered in a kind of appeasement to an unknown deity, an alarming appeal for release from some unspeakable affliction.

From a distance, A drying rack (2006), appears to be just that – a series of objects impaled on sticks, attached to a plank propped against a wall and dripping with thick gloss paint. However, on closer inspection each object, rendered more unidentifiable than those in Inventory by their monochrome blankness, adopts a sinisterly organic aspect. Are these fungal-like growths climbing or descending, grouping together and threatening to spill beyond the ‘frame’ of the plank.

The wall painting, Moron’omo (2006) is a carnivalesque grouping of images and text – some appropriated from other sources such as advertising, others illustrations of overheard lame-brained conversations. As with Mooney’s other work, Moron’omo takes the failure of communication and language, inverts it, and employs it as an opportunity for irreverence.

Fuck this, let’s get out of here (2006) could be read as a more autobiographical work. Consisting of a souvenir pinny embroidered with an image of a signpost indicating ‘Scotland’ to the left and ‘England’ to the right alongside kilted dancing figures cut from the cover of an album of traditional Scottish songs, the work displays the artist’s ambivalence to his own ‘dual nationality’ of being born and educated in Scotland and now based in a part of England that itself has historically fluctuated on the border between the two countries.

Mooney also works with sound, recently recording a series of songs based on the subject of people watching. Songs include ‘Mr Normal’, a vaudevillian song about “the most boring man I have ever met”, ‘Ikea Society’, concerning a stampede at the opening of a new branch of the Swedish furniture store, and ‘Koskerkerva’, about ‘booze cruises’ between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Read John Beagles’ essay A Feast of Folly