October, with its drive towards the pagan apotheosis of Halloween, is the perfect month to host this group exhibition of artworks that traffic in the liminal mode, works suspended between states of mind (conscious and unconscious, rational and irrational, historical and imaginary). In their offbeat perceptual angles and peculiar visual motifs, their irregular concentrations, they scratch and knead at the underside of surface into otherwise buried and cloaked atavistic psychological and spiritual realms. Rebecca Partridge’s series of spectral, ebon tangles of clotted tree branches (with a variance in volume and density) and wide, arched firmament above, the sky in perpetual crepuscular mood, catch between tranquillity and trepidation;
Hannah Brown’s Hedge 4 emphasises and enlivens the dark whorls of shadow contained within the thickets of foliage, her Tesco Field studies communicating a very powerful sense of the beleaguered landscape considering its coming destiny, the fact of its extinction, a hyper-real suffusing of natural illumination heavy with a lightheadedness, the pall of sweat and sick, a powerful parliament contemplating its ignoble end;
Benjamin Deakin’s images pulse with psychedelic colours and riotous dissolves, a melt into altered state (even his most straightforward work, Expander, a West-Coast still life with pillow, thrums with a beautiful agitation of shapes and patterns and intrusive stains; Relator keenly posits an artist’s studio that seems to have unleashed and exploded its collective works and furnishings upon every available surface, a Frankenstein’s cascade of palette and canvas transforming the room itself into rivered artwork;
Sam Douglas’s misty paintings of ancient sites and medieval landscapes, skies and backgrounds humming with drama and portent, command wallspace even if small in scale, fascinatingly layered and archaeologically resonant-vividly rendered moons seem to burn straight through the canvas, the two stones in perfect alignment with background trees in Chambered Cairn suggests a conversation between venerable entities, a well-worn chat through time;
providing the most forthrightly surreal work, Gareth Cadwallader intrigues with his foregrounded mysteries and charged offscreen spaces. Backgrounds are mad eruptions of eccentric detail (nature is a marvellous collection of quirky shapes and deliriously swirled, curlicued lines), the use of colour is quickening to the senses (the ripe sensuality of the lemon and penetrating oceanic blue of the folded napkin in View From the Sailor Girl I, the arched blue door, pink jumper and yellow patterned blouse in Doorway compellingly accentuates the subject’s distracted look away from the viewer, as if just having heard a suspicious noise from the direction of the hedge, the dominant colour scheme echoed in the bit of sky seen at frame’s edge)- tantalising, confounding narratives remain just out of focus and comprehension.
A hidden, secretive world seems to have been superimposed on plain reality in each work, unsettling primeval forces whispering, bubbling, convulsing, barely contained, providing the ideal conditions for a leakage of fantasia. The mind is bemused and enchanted. Betwixt and Between closed on 26 October