Painting goes beyond the present moment, into past and future actions, performing different roles. The artists in Premonitions focus on and analyze the function of painting outside the act of making, whilst also evidencing this action as an object.
Sarah R Cameron has created three new pieces of work, that initially made attempts to foresee the work of the other artists as they might appear in the gallery space. However, allowing the intuitive process of painting to unfold, her resulting paintings key premonition in a less predictable way, giving the viewer a sense of the aftermath of the performance of painting. Sarah graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2003 and is currently undertaking an MFA in Painting at the Slade School of Art.
Jennifer Campbell fabricates found objects. One of her pieces included for Premonitions is a banner hanging outside the gallery. Being made of semi-durable materials, this particular painting will gradually become weathered or removed by its exposed location. Campbell has exhibited in London, Norwich, Bristol and Cambridge. She is currently studying MFA Painting at the Slade School of Art
Ben Heiken presents us with a live performance at an event at TAP, after which the work will remain in its final state after the games are played for the rest of the exhibition. Heiken graduated in 2010 from Paciﬁc Northwest College of Art, USA and is currently undertaking MFA Painting at the Slade School of Art. Heiken has been nominated for the 2013 Red Mansion Art Prize.
Paul Kindersley explores and blurs the boundaries between the personal and the public. Such work suggests a fluid involvement with mythologized film experience and identity troubles of post internet life. For Premonitions, Kindersley's attempts to transform himself with paint will take the form of youtube inspired video. Graduating from Chelsea in 2009, Kindersley’s work is now exhibited worldwide.
Sarah Pettitt presents a selection of wall mounted objects, a set of painterly arrangements that hold the potential of reconfiguration. Pettitt graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting from the Norwich School of Art in 2000, and is currently studying at the Slade School of Art.
Robert Rivers paintings take the form of floor and wall based assemblages of treated materials. Rivers graduated from the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and is now at the Slade School of Art. He has participated in a number of exhibitions and performance events including 'Making Mistakes' at the Wallis Gallery, 'Wallis dies and goes to Paradise,' Paradise Row, 'Custom Made,' Barbican Art Gallery and most recently 'Big Dinner,' Limbo Gallery, Margate.
Six Short Stories
Essay by Alexander Barrett
Mark my words; a mark made may hold all manner of consequences.
It has been suggested that cave painting was a means to alter the future, rather than to document that which had previously occurred before. Both in the confines of the cave and the studio the artist wields a wide array of mediums capable of sparking a premonition, but it is always painting that harks back to the fireside glow. To fell a mighty beast, it is best to pick up the brush before brandishing the spear. If one is truly to be careful of what they wish for, and careful of what they say, they must also be careful of putting paint down onto a surface.
A dark and brooding atmosphere may in fact be necessary for acts of divination - or at least that is what history would appear to dictate. Cloistered in the studio, labouring over a portent of what was to come, she awaited the moment of clarity that would part the veil between this present moment and all of the countless possibilities. She had intended to depict the work of her peers in a painting that would distort the events that would follow. Consequently the potential to alter the works themselves through her subjective interpretation was ever present. Whether this limitless room for manoeuvre was a blessing or a curse she couldn’t quite tell, but when the moment arrived, she found that the images differed greatly from her expectations. Sarah R Cameron’s predictions had taken the form of an omen, leaving only the vague suggestion of something having transpired. The paintings had eaten away at the impending present, arriving instead at a spurious moment either further along in the future than anticipated, or situated before even her first attempts had taken shape. Time travel (even of the conceptual variety) was a slippery business after all.
Amidst the forms invested with a bodily weight it was the tongues that were the most jarring, for words would not come easy. Protruding from the walls and slumped on spare surfaces, these lolling lumps dared the wordsmith to speak and yet he was dumbstruck. Lopsided, they mouthed of a prelingual time - capable only of an incomprehensible babble. One would have to be forgiven for wanting to taste the surface of such a thing – for the desire to reciprocate their visceral nature was strong. With his neck craned towards the object and his tongue outstretched, he wondered if perhaps Sarah Pettitt had foreseen the strange urges that would unexpectedly overcome him. He was truly glad to hear from others that they felt the same and that they too wanted to lick the work – if he had been the only one he could never have divulged that fact. Faced with these totems and fetishes, a bodily response was all that could be mustered. Born from the studio but more closely tied to the cave, the primordial essence of the painterly eclipsed the need for language. Ultimately the tongue would always have the last word.
A sudden gust of wind could not reveal the seams, as they were already intentionally laid bare. The foul weather would instead see the painting hurled into a nosedive towards the perimeter of the car park, possibly never to be seen again. Like a new pair of jeans with the rips and tears already carefully cut out, the signs of weathering were a conceit that was self-evident. Jennifer Campbell revelled in the artifice of it all, with plenty of creases and the occasional scuff in place before a stint in the great outdoors. Imagine a promise that could never be fulfilled, a sort of signpost to the nonexistent and you will have the measure of this particular tale. The advertisement images she had long observed had always made bold claims that were never truly substantiated. So it was that her pretend objects would be incapable of courting a suspension of disbelief. If at the end of an excessive fancy dress party for paintings all of the costumes were to fall apart, what would remain? When the elements finally got to the painting in the car park, perhaps they wouldn’t be able to see the difference, for it was the same underneath its clothes.
The siren’s song lured the sailors to the rocks. This rather fateful spell was one of self-construction, for with a deft hand it was possible to become anything the heart desired. If painting ones face took on quite literal connotations, it was perhaps through necessity. The sheer thickness of the paint employed by artists made for better armour, with all the staying power one could hope for. Paul Kindersley mapped identities onto his face for the entire world to see, and the scope for transformation was endless. On Monday he could star in his own home movie, and on Tuesday he could be preaching this newfound gospel of selfhood over the World Wide Web. A few days later he had grown a tail and from the comfort of his bathtub he would cast his own spell over the thousands of followers who longed to pander to his every whim. As an installation perhaps such a life lived in front of the self-shot lens was an attempt to return to the tangible. In a gallery space it became apparent that these masks might well eventually stick. How many times can you cover your body in acrylic and oils before it refuses to scrub clean?
The stage seemed to be set, with a designated spot where a performance was due to take place. The air was charged with anticipation, the crowd expectant of something to follow. Was that a shoe print, or the results of a caress from the bristles of a brush? Someone had clearly been here before. Robert Rivers might be able to tell them exactly where these marks originated, but it appeared that he was offering no such information. Instead, the work buttressed up against the ambiguity of an untold secret. The actor had vacated, leaving behind an index of gestures and the places in which they were made. Recall the chip in the tiles of your old kitchen, or the bump in the floorboards of an old bedroom – those quotidian marks serve to form the memory of a site. To note them down would serve to archive a place and make it transportable. The very essence of a stage traipsed backwards and forwards by foot and by brush. The awaited performance was therefore enacted before the audience arrived, a movement across floors made with a flick of the wrist.
The players were assembled and the smell of the wet board clouded the air. Titanium White always goes first, carbon black follows. The trajectory of the game smeared across the playing field reminded him of the time that he went to battle armed only with a fish. Brandishing the scaly creature he attacked the canvas, rook to C5, Knight to E6 – a sloppy move could cost him the game. On the wrong day the very process of painting was a war and so it was that he had thrown his brush out of the window before heading to the fishmonger. He felt at ease with this ridiculous gesture, placated by the humour inherent to it all. A horse canters past, erasing the tracks of a fleeing king. A Queen has a moment of hysteria, only to have her head chopped off by a Bishop. Ben Heiken watches on as the paintings are completed. Sweaty hands clutch the pieces tightly for the endgame. Each move blurs the painting of a few turns ago. The forms come and go, like the movements of a fish out of water, struggling to plunge itself into the icy depths. Will they be able to tell where the game finished?