SE1 / Resonance
This select group of artists present the exhibition “Resonance”. Drawing on their diverse insights into modern identity, woven through the aesthetics of painting, sculpture and print. They respond to and reflect on society and the natural world, revealing the invisible as visible.
Karin Jolly and Siobhan Harrison
Jolly and Harrison describe their working process as the ‘nurture of materials’ in creating sculptures and paintings.
As Artist/Mothers they develop their narrative of Identity and Gender Politics, contemplating and reflecting on society which they describe as ‘fractured’. Materiality and form is used to communicate, not as a means to an end but as active agents in their dialogue, eliciting the fragility and strength of new life/nature via a fierce maternal gaze.
The life thread is continued but contrasted in MacIver’s work who also uses materiality and form in her reflections on life and death.
“A memory that never was, is now, A memory that never was, begins.” Bird, No 4. 2018
Through sculpture, 2-dimensional work and poetry, MacIver investigates her fascination for the object which, to her, hold memories and emotions. She explores their meaning, their place in time, their history and their future. The finding of a partially mummified bird in a disused fireplace informed her current work, prompting the exploration of the fragility and temporary nature of all things, and through this process MacIver tried to grasp the implications of the fleeting life and death of this small being. The complexity of what was revealed to her, meant that she could not be bound by one medium, resulting in various responses and allowing for movement and layers across different works.
MacIver and Dagnall share in their work a similar thread through an emotional response to memory in relation to history, time and place. Dagnall explores this on a more macro scale and is more related to place, whereas for MacIver, the object is the key.
Dagnall currently works 2 dimensionally in water based paint. This is often poured in layers, scrubbed back or scratched into, finding its own path over the support; in much the same way as the landscape she depicts is formed and eroded away by the elements. Her interest in the natural world relates to the human journeys and the relationship with the landscape itself. Dagnall’s most recent work is in response to the emotional sense of place, particularly of ancient sites and the curiousness that draws people to them. She delves into the reasons that might be, such as the layering of human history, the embellishment of local stories and folklore, or the unearthing of a deeper spiritual identity.
Her work often employs strange light hovering on the cusp of night and day where forms are indeterminate, skewing perception of time and space which chimes with our fears of uncertainty, in conjunction with a lack of human presence that places the viewer central to the story allowing them to imagine what lies beyond and embark on their own journey.
Simberg is interested in abstraction, working 2 dimensionally in oils, watercolour and drypoint. Her works are closely linked to landscapes which she might imagine from a distant memory or directly from the landscape itself, being closely linked to Simberg’s identity and cultural roots. Simberg is interested in myths and legends within the landscape and similarly to Dagnall her work expresses the light often at polar ends of the day, however, in Simberg’s case it is used to best describe the Nordic light.
Simberg works both in thin veils of paint or in thick impasto layers of paint with drips and runs as journeys of paint. Colour and light are constantly referred in her work as well as colour relationships, as she looks for the unexpected in positioning of colour which she describes as ‘sheets of colour’ in transition to landscapes. One of her more radical techniques is to nail canvasses to a shed in the forest and allowing ants and leaves to scatter across the canvass thereby enabling nature to be an active partner in her work. Much as with Wroe’s work her aim is to evoke emotion and meaning for the viewer through the use of colour, light and form.
Wroe is working 2 dimensionally either in oils on canvas or using texture as an integral part of her works in acrylic on carved wood. She likes to sketch from life often using pencil and oil stick in local parks where, on one such occasion she noticed the sun shining on a line of trees which brought to mind the poem
“I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field for a while, and gone my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great price…” R.S Thomas
Noticing the hidden, overlooked spaces of a city she captures the form, colour and play of light, or the glow of chimneys in the evening sun. Trees are also a subject she returns to time and again, the’ lungs of the city’ with their quiet grandeur. Their presence, she says, is like a song.
It is the interaction of all these components in the urban landscape which resonate to create a confluence of sound and vision, a union which Sage frequently links in her creative practice.
“The music of man vibrates to all who hear” Mechanical Ballet, lyrics Sage/Fairnie, 1981.
Sage is inspired by the resonating echoes of dilapidated places and layered memories found on our city walls. As an artist despite respecting established print techniques Sage’s own interest lies in breaking those rules. Her process inspired by urban street graffiti, searches for the universal abstract in her world where gestural mark-making spontaneously uncovers strange abstract drawings. Currently her work includes a series of mono-prints, printed books, and bespoke boxes of mono-prints.
Like Wroe, Sage is interested in celebrating hidden inner-city spaces but in contrast her fascination focuses on the strange histories told on urban walls that are torn, tattered and curiously chaotic. Back in the studio she produces monochromatic prints pierced with gold or flashes of fluorescent oranges. Her practice full of musicality and lyrical rhythms applauds the human spirit with its eccentricity and drive for survival.
Sage’s motivation is about deconstructing and pushing boundaries of print whilst sharing common themes with Jolly and Harrison of strength and vulnerability in celebrating the maternal gaze.