GRIFFIN GALLERY, LONDON
Where is paint born? What does paint do? What if you acknowledge and respond to a space once the space is already occupied? …
Several questions became the centre of discussion when we explored Pool, (an exhibition of work alluding to the theme of landscape) which opened up a continuous discourse when considering the Artist as Curator. A well as the show literally being curated by artists, could the Curators also be considered as Artists here, as the space and show as a whole had been carefully designed to encourage public engagement and interaction?
Curated by artists Rebecca Byrne and Liz Elton, and presented by Griffin Gallery, Pool brings together the works of 13 artists who have expanded the field of painting. Through the device of a constructed landscape, all existing together within one space, a new visual setting is formed. We as the viewers become part of that landscape that is Pool.
The interior space, the spacial language of painting, and the space outside the painting in which we inhabit, allows us to occupy and to draw questions and conclusions based on the constant flow of interaction over time. The works connect with one and other, be that in a sculptural way (such as Sarah Kate Wilson’s The Great British Summer and Juliette Losq’s Efflorescence and the inclusion of audience interaction with the objects such as Vanessa-Maurice Williams’ Portal/Tunel), or by performance. As our presence disrupts the landscape, our engagement allows us to perform within the space that we occupy, entering and exiting the never drying flow of paint.
Occupying a space and following an invisible path through a flowing of objects and connections within the show, suggest that the gestures in painting are more than a paint brush to hand relation. Responses, conversations and ideas swim within and around the gallery in order for one to appreciate painting and the form in which it wants to take. The construct of a garden acts as a frame itself, the ideas embedded within individual pieces continuously move in and outside their own boundaries.
Beginning outside the gallery, the show is presented as an immersive experience. As we enter the garden and continue through the intimate assembled tent, Portal/Tunel , there is a mystery as to what will be revealed on the other side – a colourful game that opens our visual surroundings, continuously recycling a landscape and developing a soundscape.
Pool allows the paint to pour within and throughout the volumes of gravity. The space between two things; the time consuming physical act of painting, and the claiming of a space encourages a painting to fight for attention. Only then do we allow the bodily presence to travel through and within it, pooling the surface of the never static space.