RBSA PRIZE 2018
10 May - 23 June, 2018
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA
Breathing in Time and Backwards Barefoot rely on natural rhythms to explore issues related to freedom, escape, and representation. They belong to Liminal Interludes, a series of drawings I made on a craggy Cornish cove in 2016 and take as initial impetus Italian poet Eugenio Montale’s first collection: Ossi di Seppia (Cuttlefish Bones), sometimes likened to T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land.
Montale’s sense of metaphysical edges and the pull between stasis and freedom resonates with me very profoundly and is something I begin to find visual expression for in these drawings.
For Montale the sea stands as metaphor for, amongst other things, father, teacher, and for earlier poets against whom he has had to measure himself and find his own literary voice. Seeking a pure rhythmic balance, on the fine edge between abstraction and representation, for me these drawings inhabit a “realm of pure possibility”. Fluid, dynamic, eccentric, they respond to the sounds and rhythm of the sea and search for an absolute expression beyond representation - akin to the moments of light and epiphany which punctuate Montale’s Ossi di Seppia, the holes in the net he urges us to search for : “Cerca una maglia rotta nella rete”.
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