Show: United in Different Guises LXI, single duvet cover, acrylic paint and varnish. Tim Ellis.
Tell: “The painting is part of a sequence of works that share the same title ‘United in Different Guises’ and are numbered accordingly. The title refers to a proposed shared function. This function sits somewhere between a communicative role and the symbolic. At present they total 68 and will continue to grow indefinitely but employ different motifs dependent on the context they are displayed in.
“The imagery used is a mixture of signage and design: which is reconstructed to form a door or window. This particular piece was designed for an introductory space for a recent solo show. The scale and material quality mimics the appearance of flags and banners and is emphasised by folding, cuffing and gradually aging the paintings so a suggested utility appears.
“The origin or inspiration for the works came out of a desire to create something that questioned notions of symbolism and authenticity but it was also my attempt to create something that functioned beyond the realms of painting. All my works respond to an idea/statement that I have as a starting point; ‘A being has a primeval desire to want to belong to something greater than ones self’.
“I see this picture/painting as an object that had or still has some greater meaning. It’s still a painting but it represents something shared, perhaps social or political but always as a proposition. This particular work is a later piece in the series, which have gradually developed to form backdrops for other works. I see these new larger works functioning more as landscapes, to some extent allowing my other works to populate them.
“Potentially these things could act like divides partitioning spaces or may even be used as materials for structures. I find that as the making process begins other ideas spring up. A lot of developments come from installing and thinking about display, these then reinform the work back in the studio or sometimes when curating a show, requiring sometimes some drastic modifications.
“As with anything there are always mistakes. The success rate is quite high because of the rigid framework the piece exists in means anything can be painted on its surface. Sometimes it falls down to taste and colour, other times I end up over distressing the picture and have to start again. These things are not delicate or precious to me and can take a good beating in the studio.”
Photo: John Melville
Info: This work was recently on show as part of Tim Ellis: The Tourist at Spacex, Exeter.
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