CROUCH END OPEN STUDIOS
PAUL BERRY - ANDY METCALF- MAGGIE RAILTON - MICHAEL LEE
Berry's work entails paintings, prints, photographs, installations, performances, and constructions.
As a conceptual artist, the work generally starts with an idea which is developed using the most appropriate medium and process while embracing new technology and alternative means of production which in turn influence his creative thinking.
Excited by experimentation and exploration, the result of this experimental approach brings together a random collision of Berry's earlier work with current explorations. These multilayered results follow Berry's interest in the notion of an alchemical transformation where one thing loses it's identity and assumes another. An image becomes an object, representation becomes abstract or vice versa. There is an attempt to play with our perception and to reflect the complexity of making sense of the world within us and without.
Following on from the success of the Now Project Exhibition at the Ply Gallery in the Autumn, Metcalf uses this experience as a source to launch into working within the world of landscape using both photography and painting mixing acrylics to create a unique palate. Metcalf's work explores the links, tensions and creativities that surface when photography and painting are put into relationship with each other and a gallery space.
Railton's approach to photography is naturalistic or journalistic, seeking to observe what is around her, to capture the world as it happens naturally rather than posing or directing a subject or a scene. Drawn to strong graphic shapes and lines in architecture she explores abstracts, shadow dances, nature and street photography using soft, muted colours and mono tones the work is calming rather than it's potential to be jarring or confrontational.
This exhibition captures play - of both children and grown up kids with back drops as often seen art installations and our natural, playful and instinctive responses to them.
Lee's photographs are created on site and in-camera, crucially not re-worked in any image software barring adjustments to contrasts and cropping. Each one is made using a technique that contradicts the proper functionality requirements for High Dynamic Range imagery.
According to all official manuals, the camera must remain fixed, preferably on a tripod, and the subject matter stationary to avoid distortion and ghosting. It is the possibilities within these distortions and ghostings which Lee explores, rejecting the stillness and introducing chance and performance to the process building a unique art form.
Lee creates photographs that capture more than a snapshot in time. Moments created in collusion between the artist, camera and subject matte, resulting in a series of personal, painterly responses to the world that create a dynamic interplay between abstraction and figuration. In constant negotiation between the very precise technology of digital photography, intuition and happenstance Lee successfully produces an elusive image that needs to be seen.