13 July – 10 August 2019
PV Friday 12 July 2019 6 – 9pm
with additional material including books and
The moon, that silent companion to the constant ravages of our turbulent earth.
That puller of tides and marker of seasons.
That poetic muse and vision of Selene.
A destination for governmental grandstanders and for the dreams of children.
A mineral resource and a science fiction homestead.
The moon is a physical, observable, quantifiable object and it is a screen for the projection of our most profound, whimsical and spiritual desires.
The material that surrounds us, those organic and mineral substances that lay in strata all the way to the Earth’s core.
The dust and the soil and the rock.
That grow and bloom and crystalise.
That embody, affect and perform change.
The moon is the product of the same cosmic gas and dust as the matter beneath our feet. These things are connected.
Lunar Gardening is a gathering of artists’ works that collectively consider making, process, ritual (and by implication) being, as existing between, and under the influence of two interrelated forces – the lunar orbit and microscopic mineral change. Both forces are observable through the tools of empirical science, and at the same time, they have the ability to conjure metaphoric, spiritual or ethical significance. Paintings, prints, photographs, books and objects channel these forces and play host to extra-rational narratives.
With thanks to Andy Larkin, The Harry Lawson Rock Collection, Lucy Steggals, Marlborough Gallery, Simon Martin and Pallant House Gallery.
Image at top: Samuel Palmer, The Rising Moon, etching, 1857 (Courtesy of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, The Elizabeth Burney Bequest, 2018)
Wysing Arts Centre is delighted to announce an ambitious new exhibition to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Staged across Wysing’s 11-acre rural site, All His Ghosts Must Do My Bidding considers art as magic, artists as magicians, and the studio as a magical site.*
The exhibition features new commissions from artists Jill McKnight, Tessa Norton, Pallavi Paul, Imran Perretta and Morgan Quaintance alongside works from Jonathan Baldock, Anna Bunting-Branch, Olivier Castel, Melika Ngombe Kolongo, Shana Moulton, Harold Offeh, Heather Phillipson, Elizabeth Price, Laure Prouvost, Phil Root and Tai Shani.
Gone's for once the old magician
With his countenance forbidding;
I'm now master, I'm tactician,
All his ghosts must do my bidding.
Know his incantation,
Spells and gestures too;
By my mind's creation
Wonders shall I do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, 1779, translation by Paul Dyrsen, 1878.
The exhibition begins as an idealistic retelling of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the tale in which an apprentice uses the master’s magic to cause chaos in the unattended studio, before being caught and punished. In a deliberate act of misreading, All His Ghosts... leaves the tale unfinished, re-interpreting the story as one of liberation. With the ‘forbidding’ master sorcerer gone, and the story’s moralising ending removed, the apprentice is free to experiment, to create and to fail without judgement.
Frozen at a moment of pure creative potential, when the apprentice finds them self in command of the master sorcerer’s ‘incantations...spells and gestures’, the focus of the story shifts. Now that experimentation, creativity and failure are permitted, the exhibition asks who gets to enjoy these freedoms? In other words, if no one is obliged to be the apprentice, who gets to be the sorcerer?
Works from Jonathan Baldock, Olivier Castel, Phil Root and Shana Moulton in Wysing’s reception area set the scene. A forbidding master keeps watch over an overburdened apprentice, a frustrated dreamer, and a character anxiously searching for physical, mental and
spiritual fulfilment. Overhead,
Melika Ngombe Kolongo’s sonic sculpture acts as a first successful attempt at spell-casting and leads the way into the gallery where new ways of thinking are possible.
Guitar/River, pigment on plaster, 15x23cm, 2019
Window/Rain, pigment on plaster, 23x30cm, 2019
Cave, with Sophie Alda broken pot, glazed porcelain and earthenware, 15x15x15cm, 2019
Poison Hill, with Sophie Alda broken pot, glazed porcelain and earthenware, 20x15x15cm, 2019
Rain House, watercolour, 15x21cm, 2019
Number House, watercolour, 15x21cm, 2019
Her head Reliquary I, glazed earthenware, 21x30cm, 2019
Reliquary for Numerology, glazed earthenware, 21x30cm, 2019
Her head Reliquary II, glazed earthenware, 21x30cm, 2019
Milton Keynes Arts Centre plate fundraiser March 2019
Plate with snake, mushrooms and teardrops, Glazed earthenware, 30x30x9cm, 2019
The work came from looking at a mixture of sources, a snake from a Bernard Palissy ceramic, mushrooms lifted from a William Nicholson painting and the teardrops, a familiar symbol, evoking human tears, sweat, rain fall, water as conductor and the damp conditions of growing fungi.
Funds raised from the sale of works, generously donated by all participating artists, are used to deliver Milton Keynes Arts Centre’s free, year round outreach programme with local schools and families, targeting those with little or no access to the arts.
Mushroom Henge, Glazed earthenware, 15x10x12cm, 2019