Susan Merrick’s choice of materials Bring you a playful step closer to making the mystery of Imagination your own every day. In the space between, the rejected feminine elements are Laughing and whispering noisily across the gallery surfaces, Making their presence known, Pulling at the threads of things Like mischievous ghosts.
I feel like I am 15 again Susan is making everything fun.
I feel like I am 12 Playing ancient characters from storybooks.
The process of reclaiming material from all ages, epochs and ocean beds will never look right under the glare. Mud and guts of the world. Utilitarian pins and nails and things. Ashes in my mouth. Tear it down before it’s done. The art is hidden under the lights. All the surprising combinations blooming in the conditions set. Defying ideas Of what we thought we were doing. A garden under lights.
My visit to the gallery this week was on Thursday. I missed the turning to Winchester three times, because I was thinking so deeply about the possibilities that awaited me there. When I finally turned into the carpark I encountered three artists with boxes and bags and tumbling words. It has been a joy to have a space to come to and this Thursday was special because there were many of us in the gallery together – all at different stages of install and exhibition – working it all out through dialogue. The spoken ones; the internal ones; and the embodied ones, as we physically moved ourselves and our objects through the space, discovering light and shadows, layers and connections.
Sharing space with Sounds and Seaweed
Tina Sanchez’ sculpture is a delight to be with – do come!
Shadows on the wall an #unplannedresponse
What I enjoyed most about my time in the gallery this day was my conversations with our visitors, mainly students and staff who stopped and sat with us – clustered round on the floor.
I’m not sure that sitting and crouching on the floor is normal gallery behaviour, but something about the layout and the happenings had us land and plant roots into the floor: gathering at and amidst the installations and workspaces to talk about our own ideas and objections, and to exchange creative ideas.
A depth to dive into A shadow, a black. Spaces to skid in with glee Hidden from view A secret me. Behind my eyelids An inner me.
A shock of gold A beam of splendour A heart-lifting brightness An etheral sun-smile Beaming from the heart of me “I am”.
Aglow Aloft in the ceiling this painting beams down on me Dripping tendrils of gold on the floor Painting the lines to dance with Borders to investigate Blocks of view with which to Orientate.
I see myself in it; There is an order and a wildness in this one Karen I said to you as soon as I saw it This is my favourite yet Not just because yellow has that effect on me But because it is balanced on the edge of vision.
I wrote this word flow for you, in response to your painting. As you know I have mentioned that yellow is usually my favourite colour in any situation that a favourite may be stated. Not to use in my palette per say, but to feel. Yellow feels good.
I have been exploring tri-colour symbolism for a while now, (red-black-white) and was rather delighted when I discovered yellow is often the fourth colour to emerge in any language according to linguists Brent Berlin and Paul Kay. Da Silva writes:
Specifically, they found that if a given language contains only two color terms, these refer to white and black. But if a language contains three terms, then it contains (in addition to the previous ones) a word for red. And so on and so forth concerning—in the following order—green or yellow, then blue, then brown, and finally purple, pink, orange, and gray.
I shared this discovery with Andy Jones last spring when he shared his maps with us at a CAS Artists CRIT and I noticed he is using the same primary colours to represent his own symbolic language.
I am really tickled by the idea that in language, these colours emerge first. Perhaps that makes them good tools for finding our own languages. In your case, with a colour palette taken from the roads of London, it occurs to me as if for the first time that you are picking up the symbolic visual language of the road system (a recognised cultural language of instruction) and dissenting (deviating) from the traditional interpretation. Your dissent is saying there is so many more ways that you can move in these spaces, not only that, you have created a visual language to express it and which others might learn to read.
In my case, I am not quite sure I have the words yet for the terrain of my cultural deviation, so I instead leave you with this:
The use of yellow here is in part inspired by your painting. In this digital drawing my impression of your painting merges with an encounter with Rapunzle (who I saw had dissented by chopping off her golden hair — an act of defiance). See my recent blog post ‘the first telling’ (of ‘The Woman with No Hair’) to decode what the red box and the gold lines represent (or devise your own meaning).
Since Susan Merrick took photos of me on Tuesday, my digital sketchbook has exploded with images. Like your fast manipulation of electrical tape, digital tools have a useful ability to keep up with my thoughts as I test out ideas.