Forthcoming Exhibitions at the Centre
'How X had seen Y.'
Will Grant and Laura Musselbrook
April 12 – June 12
Grant and Musselbrook come together in How X Had Seen Y to present works about seeing the visible world once removed. For Musselbrook, the obscurant is compressed layers of history – the detritus that hides behind geographies we might mistakenly think we are familial with. Grant is interested in the subjective eye, particularly the ‘natural’ or naïve. For two artists whose current practice explores seeing it seemed appropriate to extract, or abstract, words from the father of 20th century thought on seeing, John Berger. Thus How X Had Seen Y.
WG: Personal hierarchies of value create multiple methods through which to see a single subject depending on the viewer’s story – to see something is to converse, as subject equal to object. In an ironic turn as art educator, the recordings that I have come to believe best describe an individuals’ experience of seeing are often those unfiltered by institutional convention. Many of the works seen here are stilted attempts to reprogram my seeing process through the blatant inspection and reproduction of works by some of my youngest students. I am less concerned with outcome than process. This is an on-going and unfinished project which is both in turn frustrating and liberating. What appears to be abstract in these works is in most cases the appropriation of isolated forms from my source material, recycled as obscure motifs and repeated as I attempt( as a child practices their handwriting) to learn a new vocabulary.
LM: The paintings and drawings on display are derived from the same source material – collected photographs and postcards from the last 150 years, all taken from the surrounding area of Denmark Hill. I have collaborated with some of my students, asking them to compose their own collages and have been surprised about what they have seen, and subsequently, the universality of what they have chosen to record. The work has evolved as I fixate on the sections of the images that have been discarded. There are recurring motifs throughout the work, usually incidental details from the images that I have collected. Seemingly disparate sections of carefully composed photographs become a new composition, joined together by artificial blocks of colour or areas of negative space.
Both artists teach at a secondary school in South London. We would like to thank the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience for allowing us to exhibit as we believe all art teachers should be artists but recognise the many logistical barriers that exist – including a lack of spaces in which to show work.
The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. John Berger
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