Paraphrase, Contemporary Six

Paraphrase features work by three Manchester based artists whose practices explore the use of representation referencing personal histories, art history and memento mori across a range of traditional and digital media.

Richard Shields, ‘Pencil in Pen, Pen in Pencil’, 2012

Simon Hadley Attard presents oil paintings from digitally inverted photographic images as part of a wider investigation into the representation of darkness and light. In the translation from digital to oil on canvas, Attard includes painted white borders encouraging a panoramic reading of the images. His subject matter ranges from the ambiguous to figurative, and whilst earlier works have tendencies towards abstraction, his latest work is more in the realm of representation in memento mori.

Mike Chavez-Dawson uses reclaimed oak-veneer furniture incorporating lasercut images, either directly into the wood or into neon acrylic panels, which feature reworked documentation of past performances. Images are overlaid, repeated and mirrored in something of a visual mantra. The inversion of the images within each oak-frame sculpture resemble Rorschach inkblot tests in psycho-analytical examination, cataloguing an ongoing self-reflexive study of personal history.

Richards Shields’ bic biro drawings on found objects reference personal history combined with an influential art history discourse. Art historical figure heads smoking are meticulously drawn in biro on paper coffee cups whilst others are resembled in part in collage drawings entitled ‘The Male Artist’ and ‘The Female Study’. The Mona Lisa is rendered in an array of tally marks counting the number of visitors to a popular show where the artist was working as an invigilator. Shields’ preoccupation with medium specificity, combined with art history recontextualisation through personal narratives, creates a playful ricochet of ideas steeped in a strong brew of what has come before it.

Contemporary Six, Royal Exchange Arcade, Manchester.

Until 2 June 2012, 10am – 5pm.

Published 26.05.2012 by Bryony Bond in Explorations

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