Tina Dempsey & Garth Gratrix
20 Nov – 15 Dec
Hanover Project is pleased to host the first collaboration between two graduates of BA(hons) fine Art at UCLAN.
Both artists have a decade between them as former students and this will see the two solo artists with studio practices coming together to experiment and open up new relationships between each other’s work in one space.
Both artists’ oeuvres to date involve a keen interest in arrangement and placement, often using things found, given or collected. Not necessarily with a sense of nostalgia, but with an intent to reinvent and re-appropriate everyday materials into a new arena- whether minimal or chaotic- as is the way with any relationships timeline.
Colour is the ‘thing’ that opens discourse between the two artists, whilst posing the installations most differentiating factor. Dempsey responds to colour with a gut instinct and aesthetic foreplay whereas Gratrix’ choice of colours are determined by their specification and or title as a way to story tell a sense of queerness and innuendo into an otherwise silent room.
Throughout the installation there is a sensitivity to being bold, removing the desire to be brazen or simply decorative, as the artists take time to engage, remove and evolve each objects placement in relation to another. Again a distinguishable feature between the artists is that Dempsey playful darting and jetting between mediums and form are juxtaposed with Gratrix’ specified measurements between each of his objects of nine inches apart together or away from each other. This poses questions within collaborating as to whether both can lead or both play part in the framing and supporting of other aesthetics in favour of balance rather than disturbance; whilst retaining a visual freedom with concept yet retaining a fundamental strength through formalism amidst abstraction.
The artists will work on the installation for a period of three weeks with a closing or ‘open house’ event marking a moment of pause and reflection before determining if the collaboration at UCLAN has been the start or the completion of this collaborative process.
About each artist:
Tina Dempsey’ interdisciplinary creative practice is primarily a responsive process, reacting to the range of materials she employs and to the social, physical and emotional spaces she traverses, documenting via colour, shape and form.
Through the use of expressive mark making, print, collage, language, photography and painting, she creates a series of abstracted narratives that are constructed, dismantled and rebuilt into forms that explore the possibilities of media, scale and colour, offering an open ended association of meanings for the viewer to interpret.
Notions of permanence and temporality are also explored within the construction/deconstruction and installation processes, where the fragment becomes part of the ’completed’ and the ‘completed’ is fragmented whilst assemblage pieces explore the space of the artwork itself, layering abstracted elements that respond to both the physicality of the materials themselves and to the architectural surroundings they are placed.
Garth Gratrix’ work explores the notion of queerness within the sphere of minimalism; often with a subtle comedy or nod to a ‘carry on’ sense of cultural interaction and interpretation. The anxiety and or outlandishness that can occur in queer space is where the artist explores conceptual ideas, cultural relevance or the notion of language and behaviour.
Gratrix relationships develop out of material foreplay and back and forth tongue in cheek between otherwise silent and contemplative things in space- balancing queer identity versus queer abstraction and amidst dehumanising digital and social constructs.
The artist’s most recent work takes into consideration the measurement of nine inches after being asked on a digital dating app for the size of his anatomy. A single question removing any personable relationship in the everyday now adds a fundamental but nonsensical measurement within the process of making and the machismo attached to scale and material.
With Thanks to University of Central Lancashire