The Art of Creative Research, group show, NIE Gallery, Singapore
The following pieces have been selected in response to the theme of ‘cognition’ and ‘perception’, and have been chosen from the artists inquiry and exhibitions into his experiences and explorations of the mind, body and soul.
1. Recent Films: Hands Catching Perceptions (2020)
This is a selection of four black and white digital films made by Andy Ash at his Red Herring studio in Brighton England during 2020. In each of the tightly shot frames the artists right hand is seen. They progress using the artist’s studio environment, materials, objects and tools as stimuli to explore the conceptual ideas, sensory properties and elements of his artistic process. They are like performances with hands.
In the Hand Catching Pencils, Hand Catching Pots and Hand Catching Soles we see the artists hand grasping to catch different objects. He methodically and repeatedly attempts to grab the object; sometimes successful but often failing. When successful the moment is brief before the object is dropped and cycle starts again. It could be argued that these films are conceptual – the repetitive, almost hypnotic nature of the fleeting image is intended to represent the hit-and-miss struggle to make something worthwhile.
In Breaking Rules we see the hand bending and flexing the material trying to push the boundaries of its properties. The hand physically expresses the tension between medium and action, whilst repeatedly moving and manipulating positions. The strain of the task becomes increasingly self-evident until the shock moment of breakthrough. Unlike the other three films which appear to have no sense of purpose, Breaking Rules does appear to have a climax, even if that may emerge as a predicable non-event.
‘Hand Catching Pencils’, 2020, Black & White Digital film
‘Hand Catching Pots’, 2020, Black & White Digital film
‘Hand Catching Soles’, 2020, Black & White Digital film
‘Hand Breaking Rules’, 2020, Black & White Digital film
(these clips can be viewed in Recent Films: section of this site or YouTube)
2. Talking Brains (2018)
This is part of a series of works which investigates the relationship between the brain, the body and art making; a kind of ‘dialogue with the artists neurological and physical self’. Through a series of ink drawings, films, photographs and objects he creates pieces which ask questions about the relationship between depression, (dis)connection, dyslexia and creativity. The work is interested in interior and exterior space, the individual and collective, the dark, the light and importantly the grey and how these competing aspects connect to form a way of seeing and a way of being.
The ink drawings are observations of the different key parts of the body, the multiple brains of the body, the multiple sites for where knowing and understanding is generated. Each drawing highlights the embodied nature of knowledge, the different range of sensory and bodily perception which connect to create insight.
‘Gut’, 2018, ink drawing
‘Lungs’, 2018, ink drawing
‘Heart’, 2018, ink drawing
‘Brain’ 2018, ink drawing
3. The Art of Walking (2022)
This piece is from a collection of recent works which investigates the relationship between the brain, the body, the soul and art making: a kind of dialogue while walking. Through a series of prints, sculptures and objects a space is created to ask questions, questions about time, space and consciousness of the artists world as much as about putting one foot in front of the other. The artist invites you to walk in his shoes considering themes of footprints, lines, writing, intimate reflections, the inner and outer landscape, the sole/soul, and the interplay between body, mind and the world all whilst walking on the South Downs.
‘To make concrete’ is a play on words a common feature in Andy’s work. It has multiple meanings, and can be read literally and more in the abstract.
I have placed the cast stone feet on the soil of Singapore, a symbolic gesture collecting local, from in front of the gallery where the new MRT station is to be placed, a new development, a sense of moving forward, grounded in this space and place, a gesture of making here with you.
‘To make concrete’ 2022, cast concrete