SURFACE : Surface and Materiality in the Screen Environment:

Thames-Side Studios Gallery

19 – 27 May 2018


Jim Cheatle, Alison Goodyear, Alexis Harding, Peter Lamb, Antoine Langenieux-Villard, Donal Moloney, Sarah Kate Wilson
Curated by Jim Cheatle

There exists what we call images of things
Which as it were peeled off from the surfaces
Of objects, fly this way and that through the air…
I say therefore that likenesses or thin shapes
Are sent out from the surfaces of things
Which we must call as it were their films or bark.
Titus Lucretius Carus, c. 99 BC–55 BC

Our relationship with the screen and the interface isn’t simply a visual one, it has changed from being a tool that we used at our leisure, to a necessary conduit for social interaction, pavlovian in its schema and invisible in its ubiquity, the screen is the threshold of our dematerialized condition. Painting takes its place in the world alongside and within this dominant way of seeing, reconfiguring our relationship and understanding to what is ‘real’ and tactile.

Does this environment create an underlying pressure for artists to make work that is more screenable, quicker to apprehend, less concerned with scale and depth? Or, does it reinvigorate the ‘real’ and the haptic? Can we view work with the same engagement as before, can we still ‘look’ at it in the same way?

The artists selected here aren’t necessarily directly concerned with digital dialogues or dematerialisation, however they all have a vested interest in surface and materiality. This exhibition attempts to draw attention to this interest and contextualize it within these broader ideas. – Jim Cheatle, March 2018