The work of artist Tom Estes at WW Gallery Drink & Dial exhibition 27 Mar - 6 May 2010

 For the WW Gallery Artist Tom Estes created a Drink and Dial Hotline complete with printed cards to hand out and telephone line to call. Estes' DRINK & DIAL HOTLINE  taps into the talismanic use of the mobile phone that expresses a feeling of both sentimental and implicitly magical: the attempt to contact or lay claiim to another space, another reality. As they say "Many a true word is spoken in jest" and if the act of calling the the DRINK & DIAL HOTLINE serves as an act of participation, it is a kind of still-born participation, an addmission of doing something 'as a joke'. 

Following on from their successful 'Travelling Light' exhibition which was part of the 53rd Venice Biennale, curators Debra Wilson and Chiara Williams recently announced Tom Estes as one of the artists for The WW Gallery big spring 2010 exhibition. 'Drink & Dial' runs for 6 weeks from 26th of March til the 6th of May. Here, curators Debra Wilson and Chiara Williams tell us about how the idea came about and what they were looking for from the artist.

"I personally don't know anyone who hasn't done it, and many of the failed preventative measures are hilarious in themselves" says Debra Wilson, who after listening to yet another cringe-making Drink & Dial episode from one of her friends, decided to look into the social phenomenon more closely.

A staggering 95% of us have drunk & dialled at least once in our lives according to a recent survey. WW invites artists to respond to the concept in any way they choose and all media will be considered. "Drink & Dial is open to interpretation, explains Chiara Williams, we were not necessarily looking for literal responses; we were happy to consider narrative or figurative works, but also works that may not have formally relate to the title of the show, that may have personal resonance for the artist and relate to the theme through abstract or conceptual language, through drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, video and performance."

 "Spilling out of Drink & Dial are notions of obsession, desperation, repetition, loneliness, longing, self control, inhibition, regret, flashbacks, blackouts, hangovers, embarrassment...and no doubt many associations and experiences we won't have considered at all."

As with their successful 'Travelling Light' exhibition which was part of the 53rd Venice Biennale, WW is expecting to be surprised by responses. While on the surface, Drink & Dial is a very specific social phenomenon, relating perhaps less to the world of art and theory and more to the realm of weekend binge culture, it is this that so interests its curators. The gallery website states that "WW looks outward by staging shows centred around wider social and cultural themes. The result is often dark, frequently humorous and at once democratic and challenging." Drink & Dial would seem to embody this completely.


 The 6 week show, runs 26 March - 6 May.