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Pile

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Pile

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 2011, curated by Craig Fisher

A piece of art from the Pile exhibition. An old radio sits on a pink and red wall with patterned paper

Simmond’s work exhibited in ‘Pile’, a comprehensive sculpture show that questioned the conventions of group exhibitions, explores the relation between pattern and decoration and formalist abstraction, questioning if painting can establish a visual pulse, and enabling a re-interpretation of a previous painting and a body of new paintings/drawings. Questions of how painting’s autonomy can be examined through display and proximity to the work of others were explored in the siting of the work entitled ‘Mother-in-law's tongue’, connecting floor and wall, addressing the boundary between painting and sculpture.

Ideas of hierarchy of fine art over decorative arts were challenged when this painting was used as a device on which to hang the work of another artist, risking the possibility of the work being seen as a mere decorative prop. Previous work using repetition and difference as a means to invoke a visual pulse in painting was re-visited in a new body of paintings on paper, continuing investigations of relations between internal mark making, made in relation to frame, size and scale, and parameters of substrate – be it a domestic door or pre-ordered pack of paper.

The work restricts colour to its constitute subtractive primaries (magenta, yellow and cyan), which then enabled the exploration of a set of permutations and combinations. The resulting paintings are constructed through a repetitive process, opening up a visual space to engage the viewer with the rhythm and craft of production. The rhythm evokes a hypnotic quality, making the work seem more alive than the methodical nature of production would suggest.

This slippage between a systematic abstraction and pattern suggests an in-between space, uncertain and open to interpretation. The theme has been further explored in: ‘Trick of Light’, a group exhibition at Primo Alonso Gallery, London, 2010, curated by Juan Bolivar, and in a chapbook, Transmission: Friend (in the series of chapbooks published by Artwords Press, London), a visual and textual dialogue with the artist Jane Harris, from which the saturated works above developed from the drawings produced for the book.

A piece of art from the Pile exhibition. A white sheet covers the wooden floor with a wooden white sculpture and gold ornament on top. Three blue and pink patterned painting in the background.
A piece of art from the Pile exhibition. A patterned piece of paper sits on a pink and red fake brick wall
The back of a piece of art from the Pile exhibition. The wooden frame of the pink and red brick wall with the radio on the top
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Key information

Explore the people, research centres and partner organisations behind this project.

Get in touch

Contact the ADMRC to discuss facilities, partnerships, doctoral research and more

Email ADMRC

Research team

Gary Simmonds

Gary Simmonds

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Creative Art Practice

Gary Simmonds' profile

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