Durrant plays very effectively with the contrast of pretty fragility and inhuman robustness epitomised in corsets. This is expressed in her choice of materials: "Lead Corset" (pictured) seems a shapely garment, etched over with pretty embroidery-like patterns... and then it dawns on you that it's made of a notoriously heavy and poisonous metal. It's presented upright, laced-up and ready to go, which forces you into considering what it might actually be like to wear one of the damn things.
In "Matrix Woman", an intricate drawing of a corset framework (with instructions for adjustment) is juxtaposed with a slapped-on red print of a headless female silhouette with a waist that has been "adjusted" to a size that in itself is not alarming - it is a standard size for, say, a Victorian illustration. What makes it shocking is the two arrows printed either side of the waist, seeming to constrict it still further without even touching it. The image pushes you into recovering a sense of proportion, literally.
Particularly eye-catching are her Japanese paper corsets (life-sized) covered in a delicate tracery of feathery plants and lacy doodles (done in dry-point and printed on to the paper). They are so fine that you could almost forget that women used to have their lower ribs removed in order to fit into them.
The theme is definitely subjugated woman, but the objects are so attractive that you are forced to face up to your pre-conceived irrationalities about what is beautiful. We all want to think, this century, that we prefer the natural untrammelled look of women with all their lower ribs intact. But presented over and over with this hourglass shape and its lacy trimmings, you can't help becoming seduced. "Aha!" says the artist, challenging you with mutilation, snakes, and a series of ceramic figurines with lopped-off breasts - "How do you resolve that with this lot then? It all comes in the one package!"
It's visually subtle but intellectually accessible and forces you to reassess your own assumptions, which is the kind of art I like. And the knickers with teeth? Well you'll just have to go along and find out for yourself.