Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Unexpected Inspiration

At the end of March T sent me a link to an exhibition that she thought I might be interested in at the RGI Kelly Gallery entitled 'Unmapped'.  It sounded like something I would be interested in, but the images on the website didn't look overly inspiring (a few too many abandoned buildings!) and I almost forgot about it.  However, with only a day to go, I did go to see it and I'm really glad I did - it was an excellent and unexpectedly inspiring show.

Anna King and Rebecca Sharp began the project by sending a sketchbook in the post back and forth between them.  Rebecca would write poems and Anna would respond with sketches and vice versa, and the result is the 'Unmapped' project.  Poems and paintings about their 'shared love of overlooked, peripheral places; the outskirts of cities, high-rises, wastelands and abandoned buildings'.  The very same places I am drawn to make images of - some of the paintings could easily be some of my photographs.  The work also includes themes of absence and presence - themes in my essay this year.

The poems are quiet and strong, but the paintings are beautiful.  To describe them as contemporary landscapes I don't think does them justice, they are beautiful.  Created with oil paints and pencil on paper then pasted onto board, they're not large in scale and are so delicate; fragile marks on subdued colours.

I spent ages in the gallery looking and reading the work and watching the video - several times actually.  Towards the end, Anna King talks about these spaces as shared spaces that everyone owns, that have a history of how they have been lived in or passed through - in my work, I think of what has been 'left behind' both literally and metaphorically.


Anna King

Rebecca Sharp


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