Anna Barriball, John Brown, Mary Griffiths, Mikhail Karikis, Mary McIntyre, Mariele Neudecker, John Newling and George Shaw are the eight artists exhibition in the show ‘Cultivation: Points of Advantage’ which is on at Hestercombe Gallery now and runs until 1 July 2018.
Using landscape, space, place and time as inspiration, this exhibition attempts to unearth the unique perspectives and pathways that artists take in responding to the world around us.
Abandoned landscapes link the work of George Shaw, Mariele Neudecker and Mikhail Karikis. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2011, George Shaw paints meticulous and rich evocations of place and memory using Humbrol enamel paint, a medium reminiscent of childhood Airfix kits. Shaw’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ presents a landmark no longer there, empty of any clues as to the particular time and place.
Similarly, Mariele Neudecker’s sculpture, ‘Everything is Important and Nothing Matters at All’, presents us with an abandoned, decaying dwelling, emphasised with glimpses of verdant nature, while abandoned villages in an area of Italy known as Devil’s Valley create the subject for Mikhail Karikis’s video and sound piece. In the film, local children reanimate these silenced villages through play and sound.
Mary McIntyre and John Brown both use photography, in differing ways, to present the viewer with notions of ‘Romanticism’, beliefs and landscape. Engulfing mists and twilight scenes evoke the feelings of longing and melancholy as McIntyre examines the relationship between the individual and nature, while Brown attempts to explore Chinese calligraphy and transcendentalism through grass images. John Newling uses the land and horticulture itself to explore time, currency and value. A pioneer of public art with a social purpose, his works explore the natural world and the social and economic systems of society.
Traces of time and materials link Anna Barriball and Mary Griffiths, who are both interested in the relationship between two-dimensional drawing and three-dimensional space, and the ways in which drawings, in these cases using graphite, might be seen as objects.
‘Cultivations: Points of Vantage’ runs until 1 July and has been supported with loans from the Arts Council Collection. Founded in 1946, the Arts Council Collection is a national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art. Operating as a ‘museum without walls’, the Collection includes important examples of the UK’s prominent artists acquired at an early stage of their careers.