TIME after TIME
TIME after TIME
Two artists meet. They are fascinated by each other’s work, despite the lack of obvious visual correspondence. They start a conversation, and discover that the theme of time is a significant point of connection. This exhibition is a continuation of that conversation, expressed through images. Time, of course, is perhaps the most slippery of the essential concepts. Einstein, the great guru of time, even suggested that it was a fiction: ”... we physicists believe the separation between past, present and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.” In his multi-layered prints, Dean Byass interrogates the “moment” and discovers Einstein’s illusion - not a fluent narrative but a series of discreet fragments that we reconstruct in our minds, to make the world seem coherent. In his “paintings with a lens”, Geoff Dunlop presents evidence of layer upon layer of simultaneous timescales, from instantaneous to infinitely ancient, all held together in an illusion of the now.
Dean Byass and Geoff Dunlop portrayed by Louise Stoner at the TIME after TIME exhibition at The North Wall Gallery
in Somertown, Oxford.
Dr Emily Troscianko led a fascinating
open conversation on time and
perception, as an integral
element of the exhibition
Click on her picture to link
to a text that gives a
compressed version of
the ideas she shared
DEAN BYASS writes: I use printing techniques as part of my practice because their repeat processes allow for seemingly endless change and variations whilst retaining elements of earlier images. This enables me to articulate a core theme to my art; the way that, to any situation, we bring all our previous history and perceptions; and these, equally, are met by other people or things that bring their own history.
The method of working I have developed usually starts with an old used plate (I have been reusing the same group of copper plates for about twenty years) which I partially sand down, leaving a trace - or history- of the previous image. The image is then printed over an old print. Traces of previous history from both the old print and the old plate are thus mingled with the new image.
I produce what may be called print-paintings because, although print-making techniques are integral to my work, it is only through extensive working of the image through drawing, painting and repeated printings that each picture is created. Each piece is therefore unique.
One of the most familiar phrases in photography is the “decisive moment”. This was the term used by the great master of the photography of modern life, Henri Cartier-Bresson. He used it to describe what he sought to portray in every photograph he took, when appearance forms itself to reveal a perfect fragment of truth. He borrowed the term from a cleric and memoirist of the seventeenth century, Cardinal de Retz, who wrote: “There is nothing in the world that does not have a decisive moment, and the masterpiece of good ruling is to know and seize this moment.”
How very rational, how very French. For many of us today the moment itself has become difficult to discern, decisive or otherwise, as Emily Troscianko argues so persuasively on this website. Those snatches of physics and neuro-science that I can hang on to have confirmed the prejudices of my daily experience: the moment -any moment- is an illusion, a fabrication, a product of memory. And we all know how unreliable memory can be. In these images I seek the “indecisive moment”, when layers of time pile up on each other, sometimes obscuring rather than revealing the truth.
Another strand on display in this exhibition is my interest in what I think of as found paintings, FP.
Sometimes the originals have been made with intention, sometimes by an encounter between chance and time. Often both. I gather these found fragments together and reorder them as reassembled slivers of experience and thought.