Saturday, 21 August 2010

Bronwen Sleigh

The reason I don't visit galleries anymore is quite ridiculous.

My only regret in life is that I didn't pursue my total, life-encompassing passion - and without sounding like an absolute tool, natural talent - for art and design. I'm a dick. I can't bear to see the work peers are now producing, knowing that this is their JOB. Had I had the courage to try and fail, at the very least, I could have satisfied my constant urge to create. Instead I languish in a pit of indecision & under-achievement of which is my own making. I bought the spade.

ANYWAY. Less of that. More of this. I came across Bronwen Sleigh's work on a recent trip to the V&A. Her work is a new acquisition, and more than merits the square-inch'age there. Check.


As described on the V&A site:

"Sleigh is a gifted and innovative printmaker working with a traditional medium - etching - but introducing distinctive painterly qualities through her application of colour, and the character of the mark-making. Her prints show us ordinary unremarkable spaces and prosaic industrial or urban architecture from vertiginous new perspectives; the etchings are arrived at through a process of exploration in two and three dimensions.

She has written eloquently of her working methods, describing how she 'translate[s] places by folding, twisting and abstracting them'. She begins by taking photographs of her chosen location, and these photographs, with their different angles and emphases, guide her in making architectural models which are inspired by the original space but are not literal transcriptions of it. Sleigh then draws from these models, and the imagery evolves again. The architectural motifs are anchored by a mesh of radiating lines characteristic of a diagram or a technical drawing, but the dispassionate precision this might suggest is contradicted by the way in which she makes a positive virtue of the accidental scratches, random marks and scuffs which accumulate through the handling and working of the steel plate."

Winner of the V&A Prize at the Northern Print Biennale.

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