Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru: New Works by Ian Dawson

Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru (your eyesight gets better and better in a short rate of time)

27th February – 24th March – Private Tue 26th Feb 6-9 pm

 

Dawson’s work is never quite what it seems, constantly necessitating the viewer to double take, to invite questions on the uncertainty of materials, processes and narratives. It is what Wittgenstein termed ‘(a)spect dawning’: of seeing one thing and then another thing within it, and of the sense of unease that this engenders.

In his new sculptural works the viewer is firstly confronted with teetering steel structures and plinths that dynamically assert their presence in the space from afar. Only then is the eye drawn in toward a surface of cast aluminium which has been drilled, slashed, hacked and sawn, and on closer scrutiny to a surface inhabited by little manufactured people going about their ascribed business, asking to be examined in ever more depth for meaning. A sunbather basks in a pool of paint, whilst elsewhere a miner excavates a portion of material from the sculpture. Titles such as ‘Grandpa’s Knob’ add another layer of suggestion and complication, with its odd sexual connotation whilst recalling the mountain in Vermont, the site of a failed wind turbine project in 1941 that situates this sculpture as a memorial to a failed experiment.

The phenomena of the eye being drawn in to both delight and question the role of detail and surface continues in Dawson’s new paintings, these have an utter simplicity to them, a dot made up from lots of other dots. These paintings appear both randomized yet sequenced, with the viewer left wondering what form of optical illusion is at work as the eye attempts to discern an image. The brightly coloured dots of Dawson’s paintings coalesce sometimes clustering, creating a pictorial relationship to cosmological constellations, of galaxies and star formations. Searching for a pattern within these dots, the viewer is perhaps reminded of the awe-inspiring moment of staring at the night sky, and perhaps what a distant memory this is. What would have carried meaning for tens of thousands of years is now a humbling yet detached experience.

By presenting both sets of works together for the first time, Dawson is posing intriguing questions, the viewers eyes are triangulated like a geographer between two different illusory bonds that of the flat terrain of the paintings and the occupied undulations of the sculptures. The viewer’s perception constantly challenged by different contesting forces, of the reality of the physicality of the material and of the creation of the illusionistic space set apart from life.

Titled Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru (your eyesight gets better and better in a short rate of time) after the magic eye pictures that briefly became all the rage in the 1990’s, these stereograms where an image is revealed through the act of un-focusing aptly summarizes the disjunctions that Dawson is so interested in inducing.

Ian is the recent author of ‘Making Contemporary Sculpture’ (Crowood Press) who first came to prominence in the 1990s with a series of large-scale melted plastic sculptures that celebrated creativity through the destructive act. His practice remains intensely experimental, involving different processes and diverse materials.

Ian is the recent author of ‘Making Contemporary Sculpture’ (Crowood Press) who first came to prominence in the 1990s with a series of large-scale melted plastic sculptures that celebrated creativity through the destructive act. His practice remains intensely experimental, involving different processes and diverse materials.

Ian has exhibited internationally in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Berlin, and his work is held in both public and private collections worldwide. He is also a regular collaborator with Gavin Turk’s House of Fairy Tales, creating live material workshops and performances.