The Continuous Image
Exhibition at Oceans Apart Gallery, Salford, in January 2020.
Linda Hemmersbach, Nicholas John Jones, Wendy McLean, Matthew Musgrave, Tim Renshaw, Sharon Swaine
“Completing a picture is much more difficult than beginning it; in fact, it is impossible. I see the development of a picture as a flow of images, halted almost arbitrarily. An idea, or even just a thought, is ripped open, compressed and overlaid, splintered and bundled again, readjusted.” (Kurt Kocherscheidt, 1991)
‘The Continuous Image’ is an exhibition of contemporary painting by six artists based in London, Manchester and Oslo. It presents groups of paintings as sets of objects relating to each other in a specific space and to the energy around them.
Each of the artists seek activeimages; open, malleable and, at times, unstable forms and spaces. Rather than envisioning complete images they work consciously without a known end. Paintings act as thought forms that emerge slowly out of the process of painting itself. There is an interest in avoiding, upending, protracting, or stopping before or beyond resolution, finding power in dynamic economical approaches which understate and enfold a subject. Partial images come together and dissolve again, their painterly presence reaching out into the surrounding space.
Attempting to feel their way through the process, the artists are interested in seeing if painted images can hold onto bodily sensations, slight actions or observations in being. In successive actions of laying down of paint, on one or many surfaces, opportunistic images push forward unlooked for avenues, while anticipated ones may shy away. In each artist’s practice repetition plays a pivotal role, from harking to an unseen, absent or buried image to unfolding the possibilities of a twisting, pushing or travelling line.
Ambiguous and continuously shifting, these paintings function as transitional objects, allowing movement from something felt or observed to a new form, which reveals itself and takes on different meanings over time. Like a sketch that could be added to or pages in a book to be turned, they negate the finite quality of a painting, hoping for open-endedness, uncertainty and possibility.