This exhibition interweaves a number of strands that have emerged in my practice over the last few years, tying them together with a suite of drawings. The thread that these strands compose follows my longer term interests - in the body, beings and society - and unravels into a series of different fascinations around these themes.
At the centre of the space stands Unfurled, a work that attempts to imagine a different sort of relationship between people and nature; one that is more equitable and with a more shared outlook. It is a work that refuses to acknowledge the impossible naivety of such optimism.
Beyond that, curled in the corner is Teenage Metamorphosis, a work that pushes the possibilities of hybridity beyond transgenics to suggest a more surreal admixture combining living matter and mundane objects. I am not sure if this creature is actually half shoe, or if he merely affects a shoe-sole carapace in the hope to more effectively camouflage himself in our world.
The Naturalist presents an increasingly plausible hybridity, reflecting the speed with which the kinds of creatures I have been imagining for many years are becoming less outlandish and more ineludible. Surely 2016 will be remembered as the year when what once seemed impossible became inevitable.
If The Naturalist is speculative fiction's collision with probability, then The Osculating Curve represents the most impossible zone of my practice. Exploring my interest in Surrealism, it speaks for my own attempts to express fecundity, sexuality and desire. This work subverts hyperrealism's association with veracity and verisimilitude, conflating realism and the uncanny in a way very much like drawing.
Which brings me to drawing, which is at the beginning and end of my practice. All my works begin as drawings but only some of them actually end up that way. These drawings play on my deeply held fascination with the body, nature and hair as an element that is both decorative and unsettling. These drawings are a reminder of what connects all the works, and the hours I spend hunched over them are a physical affirmation of the consequence of caring. And care, and caring, is never far from the surface of any of these works.
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.
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The gallery is temporarily closed until further notice.