Toward the Light – Pip Dickens
There are two sorts of curiosity - the momentary and the permanent. The momentary is concerned with the odd appearance on the surface of things. The permanent is attracted by the amazing and consecutive life that flows on beneath the surface of things.” Solomon in All His Glory, Robert Lynd, 1922
A collection of recent and new paintings and drawings (whilst in residency at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery), Towards the Light is an exhibition whose common theme is the dramatic relationship we have with light and darkness. This exhibition reveals the diversity in which the artist approaches this subject through a range of contexts and painting and drawing methodologies. The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire and Museums Libraries & Archives Council.
Pip Dickens’ subject matter ranges from cinematic formats, classical literature and the Space Race to chandeliers, ribbons and lace. Their distinctness belies a common exploration through the darkness towards illumination, sometimes physical sometimes metaphysical...silver birch trees yearn for the moon, unknown presences hide behind lace veils, shadows hold domain in empty spaces and chandeliers burn bright like ships on a dark ocean. Sometimes mournful, sometimes celebratory.
These concepts are platforms upon which she explores and expands her painting repertoire - using classic and invented techniques. The contradictory use of black oil paint to produce light refraction; lyrical sgraffito drawing with metal implements on panels, frantic fingered ‘drawing’ through wet paint and painstaking translucent varnishes that build up slowly layer by layer to produce illuminated space.
Pip Dickens studied her Masters at The Slade and has preferred to retain her practice as an explorative and inventive dedication, shying from linear progression within seriality. She is a painter concerned with visual perception, in particular, examining and challenging theories and methodologies of light and movement within the second dimension.
Concepts of illusion and double meaning are recurring themes - The notion that we may receive two contrasting visual (or intellectual) responses to a single stimulant. She is interested in playing with ideas of extremes and visual confusion - a kind of "terrible beauty".
Her work draws upon many sources from natural phenomena to the darker elements of phantasmagoria: Marina Warner’s book “Phantasmagoria”, the eloquent observations of Junichiro Tanizaki’s 'In Praise of Shadows', Peter Jacksons’s film ‘King Kong’, Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Great Expectations’ , Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy and the combined Victorian phenomena of London fog and Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man). These references seem unconnected at first glance but the artist has extracted common threads that link them together - darkness, dust, shadows, clouds and fog, light and illumination.
The extraordinary variety in this exhibition stimulates audiences from a broad range of perspectives on our relationship with light and darkness and the eternal constant that one cannot exist without the other.
The exhibition includes sound compositions by Monty Adkins composer, performer, and lecturer of experimental electronic music and audio art at the University of Huddersfield. He has drawn upon a range of paintings in this exhibition to produce extraordinary evocative sound pieces. These have premiered and been performed internationally in Stockholm, Barcelona, North Carolina, New York and a number of UK venues.
Pip Dickens was shortlisted for the NatWest Art Prize in 1997 and is the recipient of the Jeremy Cubitt Prize (Slade School of Fine Art). She also won the Edna Lumb Art Travel Prize in 1995 where she travelled to Iceland. She was a nominee for the Jerwood Contemporary Painters 2009 and shortlisted for the Celeste Painting Prize 2009. She is currently Leverhulme Trust Award Artist in Residence at the University of Huddersfield.
Available from 8 November 2010 until the end of 2012. £3,000
Hirer responsible for insurance value from receipt to return. Insurance value dependent upon works taken – contact curator for further information.
Flexible . Please note that the exhibition contents can be expanded/reduced according to venue specifications.
Sonja Kielty, Exhibitions Officers, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Lister Park, Bradford, BD9 4NS. Tel 01274 436027 fax 01274 481045 email email@example.com
- 29 oil paintings on canvas and panel to be mounted on wall with mirror plates (not supplied)
- 1 No. set of 6 charcoal drawings on paper, framed to be mounted on wall with mirror plates (not supplied) Maximum size of works 5ft sq - minimum size 2ft. Predominantly large paintings.
- 1 No. Set of 4 charcoal drawings, framed to be mounted on wall with mirror plates (not supplied)
- 1 No. set of 5 charcoal drawings, framed to be mounted on wall with mirror plates
- 1 No. series of nine charcoal drawings on Arches paper, pinned into bespoke entomological drawer (waxed sapelewood, with laminated glass and brass fixings) to be displayed and fixed securely on low angled (lecturn-style with lip) plinth
A selection of support materials comprising sketches, notes, photographs for displaying in cases.
- Sound compositions on CD
- Labels mounted on foam board
- AO size text panel (full colour) mounted on foam board
- Preview invitation card design provided
- Full colour 16-page catalogue for sale in gallery shop
This is through separate negotiation with individual contributors
Lecture by Roy Exley catalogue critical text author
Interview/walk through exhibition with Pip Dickens and/or Monty Adkins
Venue to Provide
- Onward transport (or return to Cartwright Hall Art Gallery)
- Replacement packing materials
- Gallery warding
- Attendance Figures
- Education programme and press/media coverage