the skin I'm in

play transformers with Polixeni Papapetrou's photo booth
We know we know we know that Ivanhoe is a long way to go for many of you, but Seventh Skin, the current show on at Hatch Art Space really is worth the trip (maybe combine it with a trip to Heide?) The well heeled City of Banyule has an amazing collection and curator Claire Watson has been clever in drawing inspiration from the archives and current arts practice.

Troy Emery's creatures always charm and disarm
Ideas of adornment, decoration, transformation and ritual play out in this diverse collection of painting, prints, sculptures, objects and film. There is an element of dress up, showing off and theatricality that runs through the show and through these mechanisms notions of race, sexuality and class are explored in surreal and strange ways.

Claire McArdle's reconstructed garment deconstructions
These certainly aren't dark works despite some challenging subject matter. They celebrate a riot of colour and movement and serve to seduce rather than lecture. It's an effusive show with each work holding an undercurrent of dark thoughts surrounding identity and our public faces.

Hiromi Tango's Insanity Magnet image is a favourite

Most here are hidden, or at least disguised as if our faces would make us too vulnerable, giving the game away.Do we dress up to show off or to hide?

The wonderful John Gosper in residence 
The second story of the gallery has been opened up to reveal an Artist in Residence space, currently hosting textile artist John Gosper. Creating costumes at his workbench he also invites viewers to try on a new 'skin'.

John Gosper's fluid, tactile textiles

It's always fantastic to have a maker at the bench in a space we think. It makes it active and engaging. Hard slog for them, a drafty space, well meaning and inquisitive public and the pressure to create new work. Gosper should have no trouble as his work meshes seemlessly with the ideas of theatre and costume that thread throughout the whole show.

Roseanne Bartley's clever and cute interactive workshop installation

Artist and Jeweller Roseanne Bartley has created a gorgeous workshop jewellery space that is an energising end point to the exhibition . Participants are invite to create 'faces' using basic craft supplies and it's a warm way to leave this engaging and diverse exhibition. RAMONA

Seventh Skin
Hatch Contemporary Art Space
Until August 2.

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