Fri, Apr 15|
April Exhibition Launch
Launching solo shows of Andy Cairns, Heather Boxall and Steve Thorpe
Time & Location
Apr 15, 2022, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Torquay, 7 Lucius St, Torquay TQ2 5UW, UK
About The Event
Join us for the launch of our three new Spring exhibitions: "Regeneration" works of Andy Cairns; "Colour Chart" works of Heather Boxall; "The Long Walk" works of Steve Thorpe.
In these three showcases, the artists are concerned with the materials behind the work. Whether it's Heather Boxall's consideration of the British Colour Council Dictionary of Colour Standards and how this has shaped the production of works; Steve Thorpe's sparing use of found objects, honestly interpreted; or Andy Cairns rescue of abandoned materials to reveal a narrative of lost objects.
The Long Walk
When I visited Santiago de Compostela, the town at the end of the famous pilgrimage across Spain, I was amazed to see a pile of walking sticks on display. They conveyed the adventures, experiences, perhaps even the thoughts, of all those individuals who had undertaken a long walk. It brought home how the everyday act of walking is also completely special; life changing perhaps. In this work I've tried to harness the modesty and directness of those materials [the walking sticks] with the meaning they inadvertently carry. My artistic pilgrimage has taken the form of many years of collecting materials on walks and cycle rides. I limit my finds to sticks and stones that come from specific places: rivers, mountain tops, islands, lakes, and holy sites for instance. When you see a colour in the work, you are looking at a piece of rock, often from a distant place, that has been ground down to powder. When you see each piece of wood, each has a unique colour, texture, and shape, that has been formed by its journey across river and ocean. The pleasure of walking seems to be that we make special contact with the world when we slow down to walk. In my practice I slow down to make art. It takes time to collect the materials, and it takes time to grind down stones in a pestle and mortar. It's a peaceful process. Its hopefully when the alchemy happens!
Recycling is central to my art – rescuing materials that have been abandoned, valuing them, and giving them a new sense of purpose. I believe that waste is one of the worst aspects of society – wasting the potential of many people as well as our resources. I work in the field of assemblage – bringing together different elements to create interesting juxtapositions and harmonies. I am particularly interested in developing the stories that objects want to tell when combined together – be they historical, biographical or imaginary. I am drawn to old, corroded, weathered materials and artefacts. I find that when materials and artefacts that have a history embedded in their surfaces come together there is a tremendous chatter and creative energy as they begin to weave new narratives that take their history and embellish it in imaginative ways. I try to capture this chatter in my work, configuring the individual elements into a composition that sets off creative narratives in the mind of the viewer.
The work selected for this exhibition references the British Colour Council Dictionary of Colour Standards. A collaboration with poet Judith Willson has resulted in a collection of poems that reference the colours’ nomenclature. These can be seen alongside monochrome paintings that seek to reinterpret the colours. The colour chart is a format adopted by many artists in various ways. Colour charts came into use by the 1880’s as mass production of ready mixed paints came onto the market. Their design established a format that has not changed since that time, a set of individual units arranged in rows and columns. ‘Unlike that of the colour wheel, there is no logic to the sequences of colour ranges…it is a non-hierarchical list of colours.’ (ref Colour Chart - Reinventing Colour, 1950 to Today; MOMA; 2008)