A Giant, Whose Shoulders I Stand On

Alan Goulbourne, Shaun James, Steven George Jones, Marega Palser, Steve Reinke, Sara Rees, James Richards. Curated by Bob Gelsthorpe
25 October – 7 November 2014

Observing and remembering acts of profound generosity and faith within creative circles, A Giant, Whose Shoulders I Stand On highlights the importance of artist-led activity and artist peer groups as the lifeblood of a city’s art scene. Taking its title from a letter by Isaac Newton, Bob Gelsthorpe has invited four artists to select another artist each, in a curatorial relay.


Artist Profile
Bob Gelsthorpe is an Artist, Writer and Co-Director at BIT Studios. Generosity and reciprocation are the key driving forces in his practice-based research of the studio and artist-led activity, as a catalytic chamber, workplace and think tank. Researched through drawing, performance, photography, sculpture and curatorial projects, the work dictates the medium, as opposed to a medium focussed practice. His work takes idiosyncrasies of studio practice, and amplifies their meaning, process and politics to reflect pathos directly associated with the legacy of the studio, and also the artist-led organisation, to allow a greater understanding and appreciation of the generosity of the artist community. www.cargocollective.com/bobgelsthorpe

Alan Goulbourne’s practice relies upon a process of implementing order and chaos, effectively within random sequences, in order to drive a progression from a single moment and mark, to a vast crescendo of massing marks and movements that collectively represent something simple that is visually riddled with complexity

Exploiting potential energies: like the tension of a rubber band or the inevitable drop of an arm under weight provides departure points for Shaun James’s work. He plays with new processes as a means to both understand and expand them; leading him forward, creating tangents that evolve beyond their original motivation – shedding and absorbing material as the process unfolds. The work has no singular direction. Instead attempts to engage inductively with variables - playing, accumulating and allowing a process to activate, dictate or guide an outcome.

Steven George Jones is a multi-disciplinary artist working in painting, film, sound and performance. Themes present in his work involve the residual nature and malleability of memory and identity in an urban environment. His work consciously misquotes the residue of a daily interaction with this environment, which he views as a psychological pollution.

A theme that seems to run through Marega Palser’s work centres around the duel aspects of life: tragedy and humour, dark and light, contradiction and opposites. She likes to think that they sit in a place somewhere between the Funfair and the Slaughterhouse. She studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and after graduating in 1985 went on to work with various theatre companies, and was a founder member of the dance theatre group Paradox Shuffle.

Steve Reinke has long been lauded for his irreverent, philosophical, and often acerbic works, which typically adopt the form of personal essays to wryly bend and reread wide-ranging topics from pop culture to sex to theories of visual perception and beyond. Artist, writer and professor, Reinke roams in a world of diverse images, scanning a variety of film and video forms – archival TV footage, animation, television talk shows, home movies, adult flicks, or educational films. With his brand of wry humour, he prefers to be known instead for his small, unassuming ideas. His work is testimony to those ideas, unrecognised as such, which we nevertheless act upon, or have acted upon us, in our everyday lives. Reinke confesses, repeatedly, in video after video. Anything can serve as a trigger or screen for discussing his fears, desires, dreams, disappointments, or anxieties

Conceptually driven, Sara Rees works across mediums, including video, photography, performance, installation, intervention, writing, and relational art. She works both within the gallery and beyond, creating site-specific installations and interventions for a diverse range of sites, from bucolic woodlands to a derelict ex-Soviet power station. Her practice is an on-going exploration of the interface between nature and civilization, of the conditions of global capitalism in relation to the environment and the human condition. While political and provocative, Rees’ work is also playful. Often blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, her work is both uncanny and enchanting.

The practice of James Richards transcends the usual constraints of film and video projection by accumulating imagery in a manner that resists completion. Rather, the material of video is treated as a resource for constant manipulation, and the 'work' emerges through the act of continual reconstitution. Richards' interest lies in the possibility of the personal amidst this media morass, as well as in the scratch form as a means of layering previous intentions, narratives and recordings, and of returning images to the world. For the viewer the sources - which span internet streams, television, online clips, other artists’ films, classic features and original footage - are buried and obscure, but the continually reassembled sequences build on themes of desire and obsession, using the friction between the deconstructed image and untouched footage.

West Wharf Gallery, Jacob's Market Rooftop, West Canal Wharf, CF10 5DB

Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm

Preview Friday 24 October 2014, 6–9pm