Craig Fisher, David Turner, Lesley Cherry and Kevin Miller
30th November – 21st December 2013
This group exhibition explores artists’ and makers’ different approaches to the materials they choose to work with and why, the messages they wish to convey using those materials, what those messages are, and the methods of production and process they use to make the work.
Currently I am making large scale sculptural installations using various fabrics that question representations of violence, disaster and macho stereotypes. I reference and make work from cloth (including my recent wall paintings) due to its rich wealth of associations. I employ textiles/craft, which are traditionally perceived as being associated to women to question people’s assumptions about what I’m allowed to be as a man and how masculinity is defined.
I am particularly interested in playing with boundaries, mixing techniques of art and craft I reference both high and low culture and compose narratives that sit between reality and fantasy. I make work that operates in a space in between disciplines/boundaries, the work is not identifiable as any one thing, be it image or object, craft/fashion or art, furniture or sculpture, high or low, masculine or feminine, functional or dysfunctional. I explore these boundaries as potential spaces of slippage, of accidents, which allow for discoveries beyond confined and referenced fields of art production. The audience will hopefully perceive this ‘state-in-between’ as a challenge to their habits of looking.
While the individual details of the installations I make may reference the latest in avant garde design, the overall impression is that you are being transported by your TV to the latest media disaster: Or is it a film set – Kill Bill meets South Park, The Shining via The Wizard of Oz and then back again through Bowling for Columbine! I am trying to create an aftermath of multiple popular references, which need to be unpicked. Familiarity, confused by representational play recedes leaving a nightmarish playground of soft-edged things to consider.
David Turner is an artist who works in a variety of media. His artworks stem from an interest in early 8-bit computer graphics of which several reoccurring subject matters can be recognized. Choosing images created by computer programs, he touches on various overlapping themes and strategies, such as the relationship of popular culture and the media. Working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations, Turner tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Turner’s materials in affect are children’s toys, such as Hama Beads, LEGO and Palestine.
‘Hama Beads are assembled on pegboards and then fused together with a smoothing iron to form a single image. Children often use the beads to make 8-bit graphic characters form early computer games such as Pac Man or Mario. I have commandeered this idea to construct two-dimensional digital images, using each bead as a physical pixel’
Turner creates situations in which these objects are altered or detached from their natural function. Used in ‘bit and part’ he creates rich and textured imagery and sculptures, which often reproduces familiar visual signs. Specific combinations and manipulations may be arranged into new conceptually layered information. Metaphorically and intrinsically this can be seen as more than the sum of its parts.
Lesley Cherry’s eclectic practice draws on issues raised through domestic settings, nostalgia, memory, language and class. She is currently developing these elements through video, installation, drawing and mixed media, exploring the tension and hypocrisy of nostalgia and memory, juxtaposed with the reality of a situation remembered. There is a humour to her work, which often masks the more serious issues being addressed, entwined with elements of performance and drama. She is also an experienced community artist, creating public artworks within challenging communities, addressing issues of social need, education, development and politics – areas of interest which are inextricably linked with her ongoing practice.
I am interested in the differences between ideas and physically creating them- the resistance of materials to being cut, coloured or worked and the artist’s particular knowledge of materials. I explore the push and pull and back and forth between the frictionless digital painting process, traditional studio processes and found objects. The finished paintings bear the traces and compromises of all these ways of working.
I believe there is no other way to communicate the meaning or to find out what it is, only through the materials. It exists through and in and because of the art object that is produced. Rather than encoding a meaning for a viewer to puzzle out, the important thing is to make something that didn’t exist and communicate a meaning that couldn’t quite exist until I have made it.
Patrick Heron, discussing his own work and, I believe trying to describe the properties of a type of meaning specific to (but probably not limited to) abstract painting wrote: All I consciously intend, when painting an area of soft lilac blue in a ground of greyish white, for instance, is to draw attention to the infinitely mysterious fact of an area of squarish blue surrounded by dirty white… Images physically reflect the physical world around us: but symbols are merely linguistic devices.