For this exhibition Gallant produced a series of kirigami works based on William Morris and Sanderson designs. Gallant obsessively cuts all his works by hand, which references Morris’s own interest in the hand made. His process evokes the compulsive nature of pornographic consumption, as well as the Victorian era’s desire to equate and control the natural world and the feminine. The women in Gallant’s work become entrapped within his layered designs, portrayals of a natural world turned graphic.
The initial inspiration for this show was The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a Victorian feminist novel. The protagonist, whose sense of powerlessness in her marriage drives her to the brink of insanity, is representative of Gilman and a whole generation of women confined within similar circumstances. In the novel, the wallpaper of the home comes to symbolise the trappings of bourgeois domesticity, and the protagonist begins to imagine a woman contained within its patterns. Her effort to free this reflected identity causes the protagonist herself to become trapped within the paper.