‘Transience’ is an exhibition on the theme of the ephemeral, explored through the work of three contemporary artists: Juliette Losq, Richard Stone, and Michael Boffey.
Juliette Losq’s paintings depict civilisation dissolving slowly back into nature. Her scenes present the industrial outskirts of urban environments that have been abandoned and gradually find themselves rewilded. In creating her compositions Juliette constructs physical models like miniature theatres or diorama, with layers of painted paper suggesting both of the accretion of time and the creep of the undergrowth. The works in this show describe such scenes as if contained within tanks underwater, like experiments for capturing disintegration in stasis. This underwater world harks back to ancient superstitions of waterways as places into which offerings would be cast. In these paintings Juliette imagines our contemporary world as just such another offering: lost to the rivers of time, a relic below the waterline.
Richard Stone captures ephemeral moments in the solidity of ceramic sculpture. Wall-mounted and set within wooden frames, his works depict small sections of fabric in the midst of almost imperceptible movement. These pieces recreate the quiet moments of daily experience, gentle alterations in light and form that are a constant part of our normal sensory landscape but that can only be documented obliquely. Gentle undulations create the illusion of softness; the fabric acts like a veil, concealing what is beneath whilst also hinting at imagined abstract scenes as one shape folds into and coalesces with another. Subtle colour hues lend each work a particular emotional tone, giving a sense of poetic importance to the everyday, to be reimagined as something more remarkable.
Michael Boffey uses bronze to create contemporary versions of floral vanitas. The motif of the flower as an emblem of the fleetingness of life is centuries-old, and was particularly popular in Dutch painting of 1600s. Michael works in a foundry and has developed a means of casting flowers so that despite their fragility he can render them in metal. Presented as wall panels, these short-lived floral compositions are described in a tough and timeless material. Surface cracks and patination add a sense of decay and decadence, but the fragile heart is captured precisely all the same. In combining the vanitas tradition with the classical weight of bronze, Michael’s works speak both of impermanence and solidity at the same time.
‘Transience’ opens on Thursday 9 February, 6:30-8:30pm. To receive the PDF preview catalogue shortly before the show opens please register via the link above.