Interstice brings four artists meeting for the first time, all artists explore concepts that sit outside the parameters of normality often touching on a space of ‘in-between’; John Greenwood‘s ‘surrealist’ characters, Violet Finger’s hybrid identities, Chris Hawtin‘s fictitious worlds and Ian Dawson‘s sculptural installations point to a world of other dimensions, imagined universes, relief or alternative stimulation that remind us, but do not exist in the mundane physicality of earthly society.
John Greenwood’s paintings bring contradictory elements and fictitious characters sitting somewhere between mechanised objects and organic beings, creating surreal environments that fluctuate between dream and reality. Juxtaposing illogical objects and comical scenes in a ‘no man’s land’, a void of unfamiliar beings they could easily be snapshots of a world of imaginary nowhere. On the other hand they continually harp back to the mundane through an often comical or sexualised twist and the hyperrealistic technique with which they are employed. His work is not confrontational in nature it draws you in with friendly looking beings, whilst it trips you up with snippets of recognisable sometimes aggressive worldly matter. His works are undeniably influenced by the surrealism of Picasso, Dali and Miro, where Surrealist Breton asserted, ‘Surrealism is a revolutionary movement’, thus providing us with a new view on reality or a real view of the unconscious, Greenwood touches on such subconscious revolution without the confrontation of direct action.
In contrast to Greenwood Fingers, work can hit hard. Surrealism often aligned with anarchism due to the potential for ‘free’ thought and so was seen conducive to the revolution of mankind. It was thought that this ‘free thought’ was effective for societal change, Freud’s work therefore with free association dream analysis, and the unconscious was seen as vital to the exploration of imagination and so played an important role in enabling people to think ‘anew’. Multi-media artist Violet Fingers as an anarcha- feminist uses psychoanalysis in the formation of her work. Combining video projections with monitors, simultaneously playing disconnected loops she creates environments that verge on the disturbingly bizarre, sometimes involving the artist and animals. Fingers generates hypnotic narratives through her films, tells ‘sinister’ ‘sexualised’ fairytales during her performances whilst her delicate drawings show the ‘violent’ hybridisation of females and dogs that play on the interstices of power/obedience.
Unlike the introversion of Surrealism delving into the world where dream and reality might coincide, Hawtin’s work looks outward towards other dimensions to offer us a glimpse into an alternative existence.
Hawtin creates narratives that do not follow conventional sequences of events; his work is reminiscent of a post apocalyptic scenery inhabited by science fictional machines. These ‘machines’ or ‘beings’ are hybrids constructed or grown from organic and mechanical parts. Their personalities interact with the various characters that they share their habitat with. The characters/beings appear in different landscapes in different paintings to create and recreate personal stories that interact with each other dependent on the viewers interpretation. Hawtin uses computerised imagery and sometimes sound waves as his starting point woven with painting and sculptural processes he ‘wraps and re wraps’ creating hybrid or worlds of ‘in-between’ state.
Dawsons’ work draws on the fragmented remains of the mundane every-day object, although these objects carry cultural significance of their own, they too are transformed through a process of cutting, dismantling and painting in a continuous cycle of re-construction, narrative upon narrative they reinvent themselves becoming life forces and environments that host a myriad of other occupants living in ‘other’ sometimes miniature worlds. On first encounter the viewer comes across a heavy alunimium sculpture, a little odd on its tilted pedestal, shards of manufactured aluminium sit uncomfortably amongst a natural rock like face. On closer inspection the rock face inclusive of little caves and crevices houses little people going about their everyday business. These heavy steely planetary worlds, are then contrasted against flat white paintings comprising of simple dots, a dot made from dots reminiscent of constellations, moons and galaxies, a lighter touch at first sight only to find again that they trick the eye, painted onto aluminium they are layer upon layer housing image within image, to be seen through the subjective eye reminiscent of Ishihara tests for the colour blind.
The work in this collection comments on the society we live in, sometimes reconfiguring in order to make sense of it, sometimes deconfiguring to explore what lies beyond, with fragments and reminders of subjectivity and objectivity behind and around every corner, they provide us with an alternative interstice, whether this be a twisted view of what we have, another dimension of the same or an absolute unknown.
Each Artist has a solo show at C&C Gallery see relevant pages for more information:
Chris Hawtin: Gregor – Jan – Feb
Ian Dawson: Miru Miru Mega Yokunara – Feb – March
Violet Fingers: Dance elsewhere not on my eyepatch – March – April
John Greenwood: Being John Greenwood: Works 1994- 2014 Curated by Juan Bolivar – April to May