Bensley & Dipre Paul Brandford Broughton & Birnie Simon Leahy-Clark Locky Morris Alex Pearl
“... a 2014 study by the British unit of advertising buyer OMD found the average person shifts their attention between their smartphone, tablet and laptop 21 times an hour.” www.medicaldaily.com
In the 2021 Hayward Gallery’s exhibition Mixing It Up - Painting Today, the curator Ralph Rugoff proposed visible changes in painting practices which were apparent in most current painter's work. We would argue that his suggestion of the ‘collage aesthetic, a conversational approach to the subject and a crossing and mixing of traditional genre’ are prevalent across all current artistic activity and has provided the basis of this exhibition.
Unlike their Twentieth Century predecessors, artists no longer feel trapped in a specific style, form or subject to identify and categorize their output, preferring to follow where the conversation with the work leads them, and the collage technique is ideal for assembling, constructing and questioning.
The rise of the internet, smartphones and social media has changed the way in which we connect to and experience the world, increasing our knowledge & multi-tasking abilities, enabling quick decisions between items of interest thereby providing the material for people to design their own realities. This has fractured all forms of communal reality, universal cohesive meaning & understanding, resulting in a fluid, nuanced perception and engagement with ideas.
The current state of ‘fluidity in meaning’ provides a challenge for communication. For many artists whose work explores their personal connection to the world have moved away from the production of definitive statements preferring to follow an ongoing dialogue or conversational approach with their subject matter, that flows through subsequent works. Artists frequently rely on a collage aesthetic to create images allowing a greater flexibility of interpretation and therefore better engagement with their audience.
The work of many current artists uses this conversational approach to expand the exploration of their interests, providing an open-ended view of subjects, and thereby reflect the society and world in which we live. Through the work of the exhibiting artists, Bensley & Dipre, Paul Brandford, Broughton & Birnie, Simon Leahy-Clark, Locky Morris and Alex Pearl, we explore issues of fragmentation, adjustment and reconstruction, and the expansion of possible meaning.
Broughton & Birnie, September 2023