Craig Fisher’s work challenges our habits of viewing. Located outside of traditional boundaries, Fisher’s work stubbornly refuses to conform to being any one thing, discipline, state or position. Be it image or object – the work remains uncontrollable.

On entering the exhibition, the viewer is confronted by Wide Boy (2005), a life-size car formed from meticulously stitched vehicle upholstery that appears to have crashed into the gallery wall, deflating it in the process. Turn away from this carnage and the path is blocked by the floral patterned barbed barricade of Keep Out (2006). Turn in another direction and you are required to sidestep the sequined, chunk-strewn, puddle of Puke (2005). Like crime investigators, we are asked to form a narrative from the elements and unspeakable actions; looking for clues at a scene where the protagonists have long since departed, if they ever truly existed.

Fisher’s work inhabits a world of contradictions. He plays with our perceptions and notions of art and craft, ever shifting between the two. The tension within the work – the clash between notions of male and female, and acts of violence and seduction – can be seen as a mockery of machismo. Holding a mirror up to our dysfunctional, morbid fascination with terror and the repugnant things in life, he can simultaneously be seen as easing the anxiety out of these desires and fears by recreating them in soft materials.

Fisher works in what he refers to as “the space in between” and ambiguity is central to his work. However, the question remains as to what degree we should view his beautifully crafted mutations as benign or threatening. Initially employing seductive surfaces and patterns to lure the viewer, Fisher proceeds to disrupt this wish to ‘tame’ what we are looking at, jolting us swiftly back to the disturbing nature of what is being depicted, highlighting the difference between the real object and the image of that object in the process.

Read Lee Triming’s essay Imitation Pearls