POVERA.

Process. Above all else. Then it ‘becomes an exhibition’ …
A collection of (possibly) mutually connected artefacts / things - stuff.
A result of several months of ‘too-ing and fro-ing’.
(I have grown to enjoy train journeys).

Arte Povera.
’Throwaway materials aimed to challenge and disrupt the values of the commercialised contemporary gallery system’.
Povera.
Poor woman, pauper (female). (Masculine: povero).

From A to Z.
Systematic. Sequential. ‘Landscape’ has been absolutely central.
In fact the train journeys have amplified that.
The blurring, looping, repeating views through the window of the speeding (sic) train between Sheffield and London over the past year seems intrinsic to the work I have made or re-configured for POVERA.
Monochrome. Colours muted almost to nothing.
Leaden semi-transparent layers.
Grids, systems, double exposures, glitched sound…
Score the surface. Let it sag, spread and distort.
The found elements. Flimsy, almost ill-considered.
A fragment of a story. Cracked plaster as a map.

A discourse between definition and the unresolved.
The systematic and chaotic. Certainty and speculation.

A network of fields. A tabletop. A map. The pavement, street markings.
A birds eye view.
A memory, synthesised.
Bus shelters, Hi rise buildings, rock faces, clouds, wind, rain.
Another long steep hill…

Contemplate. ‘Drift’. ‘Off piste’. Flaneur.

Lists. Desire line. Place to place. A to B and on to Z.
The Path of Least Resistance (Thanks Phil).

Dots. X marks (the spot). Crosses. Connecting lines. Lines to enclose.

All you can see. There is a pattern. Little memories.

Edges. Nothing is solid. All flattened, re-ordered.

Seal everything in; is this conceptual?
Cover or reveal or both?
Coagulate. Re-define. Assert.
Unify. Minimal mindset. Mapping.
Trying too hard? Not trying hard enough?

What is the context? Oil and water philosophy?

The work seems abstract. Non representational…
It isn’t. It has totally absorbed the past year.
Absolutely everything.
From the deeply personal highs and lows we all experience to the more universal.
In some ways the monochrome palette is very apt for 2018…

The text posters (TRASHED, MAP, NOTHING IS SOLID, THE LAY OF THE LAND) and the POVERA EP songs (FENCED IN, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, WE CAME BACK TO THIS, NOTHING IS SOLID) get close to obvious narrative but through the re-mix process and subtle typesetting avoid being illustrative.

The large scale painting called TWELVE LOOPS has literally and metaphorically absorbed a huge amount of studio time and everything that happens around that (dust, detritus, accidents, radio news, bloke downstairs grinding metal, children fighting in an adjoining garden, dogs barking) over the past year. The heavy graphite and varnished layers are akin, in some ways, to amber trapped prehistoric remains.

The double exposed 35mm sets of images THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. A TO B. JOURNEY ONE to FOUR attempt to link disparate contexts together. It is no coincidence that the majority have 50% of their focus in the general cemetery in Sheffield juxtaposed with images recording the surge in new construction in the city and / or images of the cities industrial heritage. This was never going to be a digital process; The serendipitous nature of 35mm had to be a key player. Nostalgia?

The systematic repetition of PHOTOGRAM 45. POSSIBLE MAP has a cold machine like quality yet I see it as a score for musical interpretation. Lyricism, melody and rhythm within the monochrome framework.

FINDING LINES FOUR ETC literally slows down everything to a snails pace of monochrome blurs and elongated sounds. Grinding to a halt…

Sense of place. Connected. Strands. A web.
Rooted. Fundamentals. Essence. Context.
Map. Route. Signifier.
Humanity. Thread. Height. Distance.
Above and below.
Material as metaphor. Dialogue. Narrative.
A sense of place.
The palm of your hand / infinity.

Stephen Carley. November 2018.

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