Nothing is Forever
Residency and exhibition, South London Gallery, 2010.
Supported by a residency at the South London Gallery SLG, Simmonds’ work questioned how the focus on the mechanical quality and materiality of procedure of the indexical mark could sit in relation to the domestic space of the SLG’s new extension. Previous research questioned how the use of a semi-automatic process – contingent mark making through the use of a hand crafted squeegee – could set up a distance between artist and outcome. This process explored repetition and difference which, when ordered by the grid, set up questions and relationships between abstract painting and pattern and decoration, disseminated through exhibitions at Laure Genillard, London, One in the Other, London, and De Mach and Solbiati, Milan. The work in ‘Nothing is Forever’ did not use the contingent mark of a squeegee but an iterative process derived from using a more ephemeral mark offered by the fluidity of watercolour and the parameters of a printed brush mark.
With references to mathematical structures of nature, the work explores how the fluid and ephemeral nature of a printed watercolour mark interprets and challenges the rigidity of geometry and its heroicised narrative in abstract painting’s recent history. The work presents a series of interventions that continue to resist making a representation of something in the world, so that the matter and nature of production is a mode of address and site of critical thinking. It has been further explored in works for: Brutalist Speculations and Flights of Fancy, a symposium and book including artists and writers from Berlin/ UK (Site Gallery 2011); Tegel: Flights of Fancy, a film screening of thirty artists, Kino Babylon June 2012, in collaboration with the 'Verein zur Förderung von Kunst undKultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz' and Tegel: Speculations and Propositions, a publication and DVD, co edited with Jasper Joseph-Lester and Susanne Prinz (The Greenbox, 2013).