Alison Hand, John Wallbank, Lyndsey Searle & Ross Walker
Through the use of construction, layering, intuition, and pattern, Alison Hand, John Wallbank, Lyndsey Searle & Ross Walker comment on how environments are shaped and adapted by humans. They strengthen our awareness of the spaces we occupy and how we can engage with them in a less rigid, and utilitarian way.
As two painters and two sculptors showing work together, strong dialogues have emerged between pictorial spaces and 3D objects; spaces that are interactive and theoretical. The way that architecture defines the areas we inhabit, and the structural tendencies in functional design are both referenced by the artists as they employ their own structural aesthetics.
For John Wallbank the act of making is almost more important than what ends up being made. In the same way that drawing can be seen as a way of representing something in the real world, he uses basic or crude materials for their immediacy, collating shapes in a form of sculptural note making. Wallbank applies drawing and making as extensions of each other to record aesthetic and compositional characteristics of things in the world that he is curious about. Small sculptural records are grouped together and forms grow organically as he adds sections, removes parts and tweaks until he feels the piece is resolved enough to be left.
Ross Walker - Yummy, 2011
Alison Hand’s practice draws parallels between how landscapes have been depicted historically in painting and current architectural modes of visualising, planning and changing a landscape. The human need to build, shape and mark our environments with architecture is referenced through her imagery of temporary, yet monumental structures. They are places in flux, yet imbedded with grand ambition. By depicting these constructions on a flat surface using paint she opens up a conversation about the structure and composition of painting with aesthetic qualities such as colour and pattern becoming a central idiom.
Lyndsey Searle’s objects are designed to amplify the way human beings feel, engage and respond to their spaces. Her practice is concerned with the way humans mark and define their territory through the use of architecture and graffiti. She pays particular attention to domestic spaces and the objects we choose to bring into them. Buildings are designed to interfere as little as possible with our movements - doors are a certain width for us to pass through - Searle aspires to re-build a connection in the way that we encounter objects and spaces. By including functional items such as pedals within her sculptures, Searle brings connotations of their function and therefore suggests other, less conventional and more playful ways for viewers to navigate and encounter her work.
Although Ross Walker’s paintings less openly reference objects in the real world, sculptural forms clearly emerge through his use of coloured planes of paint. Compositionally, Walker uses the mechanisms of abstract painting to articulate a theoretical space. Sections of colour are piled up as if constructing an object with block areas of paint quickly defining surfaces. With more translucent sections that reveal textures underneath, Walker constructs forms that create a conversation between the language of paint and the idea of space in its wider terms.