This weekend is the last chance to see Reflections & Revelations, my exhibition with Sally Tyrie at Babylon Gallery in Ely. Sally and I will be there from 2pm on Sunday afternoon (22nd April) and will be taking it down at 4pm. Hidden, our installations in the hides at Wicken Fen continues until 25th April.
The exhibition includes a group of four pieces, Apparitions, which are the largest pieces I have made. One of the meanings of the word apparition is “an instance of something appearing; the act of becoming visible”. Perfect for these pieces that explore the theme of reflections and the interplay between true, distorted and false images. From a technical point of view, the work relies mainly upon screen-printing techniques, on old linen cloth that was printed both from the back and the front. A number of smaller works “Perception” explore the same ideas on a smaller scale.
The exhibition also includes a number of monochromatic works. This is the first time I have worked solely in black and white on cloth, though I often do in my sketchbooks. In fact this series derived directly from sketchbook collages I made early on in the project that explored the lines and marks of the reeds as they were reflected in the water on the fen. From a technical perspective, these rely upon relatively simple screen-printed imagery but incorporate transparent materials, such as lens tissue and organdy, which allowed me to reverse and overlay images.
The third group of work in the exhibition, Shadow Lines, bridges the other two. In this series, in contrast to Apparitions, where the reed imagery was encouraged to distort and alter in the process of printing, the reed imagery is printed in solid white, making the “reflections” into something solid, while the surroundings are allowed to dissolve and bleed around it.
Colour and contrasts in texture were important in this group. The title alludes to the Joseph Conrad novel in which the “shadow line” is the invisible boundary between youth and maturity (I'm massively over-simplifying), though in this case it refers to the boundary between actual and perceived impressions.
Working on both sides of the cloth and transparency has been important in this project, both for the ideas it involves about the surface and from a technical point of view, and something I will continue to explore.
Our catalogue for the exhibition describes in more detail some of the ideas behind our work and their sources in the Fen. Copies will continue to be available from me or Sally after the end of the exhibition ... at least until we run out! Email one of us if you want a copy.