Stage is set for new exhibition at Black Swan Arts Centre
By fromepudding | Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:43
The stage is set for a new exhibition at Black Swan Arts Centre where moments of invention and improvisation are captured on huge canvases that will dominate the Frome gallery.
Christopher Bucklow Talking about Painting
Artist Christopher Bucklow's new exhibition of paintings will offer visitors the chance to get up close and immerse themselves in the artwork and accompanying commentary explaining how he came to paint what's on show.
The canvases will not be confined to the walls, helping to create a 'behind the scenes' theatrical experience for visitors as they step into the world of the artist. Clive Whalley, who is curating the 'Talking about Painting' show for the Black Swan, explained what visitors can expect when the exhibition opens on Saturday March 23.
"These canvasses are difficult to show on the walls in the Black Swan. We wanted to recreate the feel of Christopher's studio which is a bit like going into a theatrical backroom with these canvases like stage sets you walk around.
"So in the gallery you'll snake through the canvases, some of which will run down the middle of the room, and as you make your way around these blind alleys and corners you might come across a TV or video projection showing Christopher talking about the work. We wanted to create a totally different experience, where people feel immersed in the work, by being very up close to these big canvases and also being surrounded by Christopher talking about how he created the work."
Christopher, who has a studio in Frome, echoed the theatrical theme as he described the work on show.
"The paintings show figures in action, as though you'd asked actors on a stage to freeze in the middle of a scene. So you might be seeing people fighting or people in love. The implication is that there is a story that's gone on before this moment and a story that goes on afterwards
"The accompanying films that Clive has made shows our discussions about the paintings. This idea of having a 'thought process' about a painting is interesting because that makes it seem like something conscious that you intend to do. Whereas for me painting is like a form of improvised theatre – that is the kind of process I go through when I paint - inventing and improvising."
Christopher Bucklow has an international reputation and has work hanging in museum collections around the world. At the same time that this exhibition opens in Frome, he is also showing photographic work in Manhattan.
"This is another example of an artist with an international reputation exhibiting at the Black Swan which is great for the town. I think the gallery is becoming a cockpit of intellectual adventure where artists can feel a bit freer to explore ideas and try different things," said Clive.
Talking about Painting runs in the Black Swan Gallery from Saturday 23 March until Saturday 20 April. The exhibition is free and there will also be a talk during the exhibition between the artist and playwright Steve Hennessy, who has put on plays at The Cornerhouse, on how the two approach inventing scenarios for their work.