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Seeing Remains

16th September to 14th October 2023 at Oceans Apart Gallery, Salford

Paula Baader    Simon Burton    Gabriela Giroletti    Linda Hemmersbach   

Nicholas John Jones    Sophie McKenna    Andrew Seto    Kentaro Okumura

Seeing Remains brings together eight artists to consider notions of looking at painterly history.


Painting as archaeology - An image buried in the subconscious, waiting to be unearthed. Excavation by application; revealing through addition. Recovering that which was once seen, but cast aside; buried under the weight of new impressions. An expedition for discovery. Discovering new meaning in the remnants of history.

Painting as fragment - Accumulations of marks, moments from a scene that has been tackled, affirmed, removed or faded.  Fragments of experience persist, lingering on the retina: particles of light flickering, bare feet in grass, hands in soil, a winding movement, the smell of rain.

Painting as remains - Carrying the dust and dirt of past decisions; marking time, connecting past, present, and future. Perseverance, despite doubt. Shifts in register, studies of colour. Allusions tested. Difficult routes traversed, but the surface remains, fixed in paint, looking forwards, visible to future eyes.

Painting is a contradictory process. It simultaneously connects with its past in order to face the now and move into the future. In the act of painting, history is encountered as it is applied. A trace of consciousness, the process of layering material offers insight as the hand and eye work together, gaining perspective, negotiating experience. Whether the artist works from a subject or allows the paint to lead the way, newly crafted visions offer up previously unencountered images; fresh perspectives that tell of ourselves and the world we live in, the worlds we create, and the worlds we discover.

Poem by Sean Penlington:

Paintings hung on white walls. 

Grappling with history, or not.

They seem to say nature, growth, light, earth, muck, grit, something somehow natural.

They are introspective, quiet, thoughtful, introverted, rummaging and physical.

One looks at paintings' edges, naturally, and feels dirt under the nail.

Walking by the surfaces (it's all about surface)  personalities clear their throats.

This or that. Individually they find an agreement.

They could be picturing or suggesting, remembering or discovering.

Possible meanings emerge. Stepping between them, they fade. Other ideas come. Nothing is clear. That's fine.

A collection of paintings which seem to share between them something about touch. Something about interiors. Something about daily life. Something about dedication. Something about yesterday. Something about searching. Something about why now. Something about not that. Something about material. Something about unknown. Something about truth. Something about nature. Something about thinking. Something about seeing. Something about writing. Something about Painting.


Photography by John-Paul Brown

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