Potato and Gravy


"Accompanied by the sort of cheesy easy listening synth that might be the soundtrack to a terrible yet surreal dining experience, Parton snuggles down on the floor in the corner of a room with many tubs and packs of chicken and potato and gravy and a desk lamp. Using her material like it were clay she carefully, lovingly piles chicken into a sculpted mound, employing potato and gravy as glue (dabbing at it on a plastic tub top as if this were her painter’s palette).

Parton is artist as performer in her work. She creates beautifully nuanced, tender solo portraits that cleverly play off and askew popular role-modelling of women in film. She makes intimate, shy, private experiences out of public ones... Here in this video she is strong but vulnerable in flesh-coloured tights and a putrid canary yellow sweatshirt. It as if she has stepped out of the back line of a dodgy theatrical presentation where there’s been a half-hearted attempt to dress a chorus line as chickens."

- Mark Amery