Newlyn Art Gallery

24th April - 16th May 2009

In this exhibition, both literal and metaphorical ‘wastelands’ were represented by a range of contemporary art.

Desolate landscapes, dysfunctional societies and broken minds were portrayed in a variety of media including painting, installation and performance, which in different ways seem to evoke the geographical and psychological themes of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land of 1922. The show included work by Jane Bailey, Sarah Bunker, Paul Chaney, Joe Doldon, Andy Harper, Ally Mellor, Kate Parsons, Alison Sharkey, Lucy Willow, Alexandra Zierle and Paul Carter.

The exhibition was co-curated by Rebecca Darch, Jeni Fraser, Ruth Gooding and Phil Rushworth, who were students on MA Curatorial Practice at University College Falmouth, graduating in September 2009

Monday, 13 April 2009

Andy Harper

Andy Harper’s paintings broadly reference nature but are equally a species of engineering and transformation. It is the very process of painting, of instinctual mark-making, that produces his non-mimetic plants and natural forms – glowing crimson seedpods, uncannily smooth and identical leaves. Yet if figurative painting sublimates a god complex, this deity is not a beatific one; these packed and pressured surfaces engender an airlessness which leaves the viewer little breathing space, an alienated world with no ‘outside’.
- Martin Herbert

Neural Plasticity

Andy Harper utilises paint as if he is physically constructing the dense, wild environment portrayed in his paintings. Using rich colour and mesmerising, illusionistic depth, Harper draws the viewer into a beautiful yet dark, unsettling world. Through the repetition of brushstrokes he builds up a complex vision of weeds, grasses and seedpods. Multiple layers of intense and mysteriously produced imagery casts doubt over the innocence of the wild-life emerging from the painted surface. It is almost too good to be true, and as the eye discovers a hint of human remains the viewer is left wondering if these smooth, beguiling natural forms are as harmless as they first appeared.
- Rebecca Darch


Recent Exhibitions

2009 The Persecution, One in the Other, London
2008 New Paintings, One in the Other, London
2008 This is not a fairy tale, Patrick Heide Gallery, London
Whispers of Immortality Natalia Goldin Gallery, Stockholm
2008 Drift, an Illuminate Productions project for the River Thames

Andy Harper's website

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