Venue: The Wayward Gallery
Location: Vyner Street
Date: From the 2nd till the 8th May
Thursday the second of May 2013
2nd of May 2013
From 18:00 to 21:00
Abigail Box, Clare Gosling, Alice Evans, Vasilisa Forbes and Marta Ceynowa
Curated by John Angel Rodriguez
This exhibition brings together a group of women artists who are exploring the photographic image. These artists are dealing with concepts that vary from one to the other. Nevertheless the connecting link between them is the interest for establishing relationships with other mediums. Some of them for instance, are incorporating objects within the photographic set-up. Others are constructing scenarios with multiple layers. And the most adventurous explorers are adopting analogue processes in order to bring them alive. This approach is very important when taking into consideration that we are immersing in a world where the explosion and fascination for digital images has generated an immense conglomerate of photographs published indiscriminately on the Internet. Therefore it seems to be wise to have a look at this emerging wave of creators that are working in the field of expanded photography and pushing the barriers of traditional concepts about techniques and mediums.
The Mediators exhibition project aims to display a set of artworks that invites the audience to re-think the role of the photographic image as a provocateur entity while inviting them to play with light, shapes and surfaces alongside the gallery space. This action will be delivered by means of an installation-type layout, which seeks to be less stiff than the strict and conventional white cube.
This exhibition explores experiments done onto photographic imagery on different surfaces and reveals how this process not only corresponds to a technical solution, but is more a consequence of a conceptual echo, that the artists find along their way while researching and working with photographic imagery.
The second objective of this exhibition is to establish a mutual contribution between artist and curator. This exhibition is going to be the first set of projects to promote artists that I consider interesting and valuable in terms of research and formal expression of the artworks. Hence, I will be inviting the network of professionals that I have built in London’s art scene to introduce them to a community that includes gallery directors and press people.
The creation process and the ideas that have led Alice Evans to achieve a point of maturity in her practice, has been influenced by the synthesized and extended experiments of the Epic Theatre of Bertolt Brecht. He proposed that a play should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or action before him or her, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the action on the stage.
Evans is interested in the integration of photographic imagery and installation. Her photographic assemblages are combining landscape photography as a background and a photographic set-up where the models were staged. As it happens with the staged series in particular, she has played with the possibility of creating an expansion of the space where the character was staged whilst layering the background and foreground in an rare continuity. This immersing situation in turn also incorporates the presence of the viewer as an active element for the completion of the photograph. The viewer constitutes another extension of the layers and planes proposed by the artist.
The more recent work of Abigail Box has been painted with an objective in mind: To use methods that ‘distance’ her from the original image and allow her to paint in a more abstract manner. She is using still shots of explosions – some real while others are computer game designed blasts. The remnants of explosions as patches create a very innovative intervention within the field of mediatic painting. This procedure can be understood as a mixture between analogue techniques such as oil painting, and technological mediations aimed at enriching the features of the final painting perceptively.
Most recently, Box has been painting explosions from video stills. In using them as vehicles for painterly experimentation she feels that they are fantastic carriers of colour and light. She draws parallels between painted abstraction and the idea that in reality taking on board all of the visual information of an explosion could be seen as an enigmatic and abstract experience.
For this exhibition the artist has painted a piece that involves working in ways that encourage her to look at the photographic material that she works from in a different manner. This action allows her to take a distance from representation and instead embrace mistranslation and intuition, interrupting accuracy and to make paintings that are visually more inventive.
A fascination with looking and an interest in ways of seeing constructed imagery (and painting) result from this.
Superposition of computer-generated imagery is a constant manifestation of our current visual culture. This is one of the main interests of Vasilisa Forbes. In her photographic practice she integrates different references that range from artistic to fashion photographers whose explorations have blurred the notions of commercial imagery whilst playing with a painterly approach in the same manner that the work of Viviane Sassen that has dramatically changed the face of fashion photography.
This initiative has fused two worlds -fashion and fine art- whose practices have been constantly separated by different purposes. The first one has been widely stereotyped by its exacerbate cult to beauty and banality. The latter has strongly been argued to be overly conceptual and to be aimed at an exclusive audience. Nonetheless, trans-disciplinarily practices have brought these two concepts together however much they seemed to collide in a spiral circle. This kind of convergence is not a new drift, but in terms of mutual contributions it can be also be understood as an important step forward for Forbes. The Hours series were composed of performative photographs: her self-portraits seem to exist in a suspended state between a narrative created by the trauma of a recent event, and an exploration of its aftermath. Strange poses contrast against strange landscapes and are displayed on different sizes. Mounted on colourful frames and mats, with this set up Forbes aims to enable the viewer to perceive the photographic imagery as an object rather than a simple picture.
The pieces of Clare Gosling are based on memories that she acquired from a time spent in Mongolia.
She recreates her images from what she remembers, therefore her pictures akin to be her residual and fragmentary memories -the vestiges kept on her mind. When she remembers those landscapes she is able to re-create the scenery. This is having a powerful effect on her artwork.
Gosling recreated these hazy memories through the use of colour, photography and assorted materials to expose a misty feeling captured in her imagery. The cut-away parts in her artworks represent gaps in her memory of the Mongolian landscape. Through layers of resin she has cut away part of the image. The resulting piece is an offering that sits between the spectrum of mediatic painting and experimental photography.
Clare is also currently working on some new material based on photographs she took with the camera that used to belong to her grandfather. In Kent, where her grandfather used to live and where she spent some time as a child, she took those photographs as a raw material for these new works.
“Stop ‘taking’ pictures. Start ‘making’ them”.
So I made them
The images that Marta is showing on the exhibition are a series that may be considered as photography, or painting, or both. She first paints, and later constructs the unique abstract negative. The images are then developed in the colour darkroom.
What is interesting about printing in the colour darkroom is experiencing how colours change from negative to positive. The actual print allows her to manipulate and rearrange colours, as she wants. Her aim is to push the boundary between those two mediums. As painting is unique at first hand, and there is only one unique piece; here it’s possible to make more than one copy.
In case of photography per se, the question that arises is ‘How can this action be considered photography, just by using darkroom, and without even using a camera?” In the past however, photography was also done that involved taking doubles processes – once in the camera, by pressing a shutter speed button, and then in the darkroom, by developing a film and making a print. In the era of digital images photography seems to be generated by simply pressing a button. The processes of the darkroom and handmade printing seem to be fading out. Marta believes that she might go against the stream and come back to the roots of this medium and use non- figurative, abstract form to allow the viewer to stimulate their own imagination and creativeness.
Marta is particularly interested in blurring the notions of these two mediums whilst also finding the way to combine them. Painting is the oldest form of art; and she has recovered the gestures of prehistoric cave drawings. When photography was invented, painting went to a new genre allowing all different forms of abstract and non-figurative presentation. Nowadays photography does what painting did for centuries -record reality. With Ceynowa, maybe, it can even record abstraction.
The Wayward Gallery
The “Mediators” exhibition brings together a group of women artists who work on exploring the photographic image. These artists are dealing with concepts that vary from one to another; nevertheless the connecting link between them lies in the interest for establishing relationships with other mediums. For instance some of them are incorporating objects within the photographic set up, others are constructing scenarios with multiple layers and the most adventurous, explore and adopt analogue processes in order to bring them alive. This approach is very important when taking into consideration that we are immersed in a world where the explosion and fascination for digital images has generated a conglomerate arcade of photographs published indiscriminately on the Internet, and elsewhere. The duty and task at hand consists in having a look at this emerging wave of creators that are working in the field of expanded photography, pushing the barriers of traditional concepts about techniques and the medium itself.
The “Mediator” exhibition project aims to display a set of artworks that invites the audience to rethink the role of the photographic image as a provocateur and also play with light, shapes and surfaces alongside the gallery space. This action will be delivered by means of an installation-type layout that aims to be considerably less stiff than the strict conventional white cube.
This exhibition showcases the experiments done onto photography imagery on different surfaces and how this process not only corresponds to a technical solution. I see it more as a consequence of a conceptual echoing voice, that the artists find in their path, while researching and working with photographic imagery.
Abigail Box, Clare Gosling, Alice Evans, Vasilisa Forbes and Marta Ceynowa
Curated by John Angel Rodriguez