Elliot Collins / Linden Simmons / Wayne Youle
SLOW, 4 - 28 March 2009
I want to say something - but I really want to show something first. Unlike artworks that use text directly in order to communicate something that matters, these pieces represent a quieter and slower kind of language system. They're closer to a whisper. Or a prayer that I'm willing to share if you come close enough. These works are secrets as well as reassuring daily truths. They form patterns* that, instead of being repetitive, try to create a rhythm that is simple and heartening.
Words don't seem to exist unless they are written down or spoken. But I believe that uttering a word makes it real. The phrases in these paintings have been thoroughly thought out - and during the meditative process of their making they have clarified the things that I truly love. Universally.
Auckland, March 2009
*The configuration of each image is controlled by a coded system which numbers the letters of the alphabet - 1 being the letter A and 26 being the letter Z. The colours have been chosen at random and each operates as a marker relating to the number of spaces between it and the next letter.
At each coloured square the code begins again from 1.
You can 'translate' the paintings by counting the number of spaces to the next colour and matching this number with the corresponding letter of the alphabet.
Each of us is exposed every day to the brisk passing of information. TV, internet, and the print media bombard us constantly with images and information, yet we have little time to actively engage. Today's breaking news becomes yesterday's old news, and human disasters, tragic encounters, and catastrophic acts of nature become small forgettable moments in the passing of a night.
Linden Simmons uses images from the New Zealand Herald as source material for beautiful painstaking watercolours - paintings which encourage us to back-track and look more closely at disregarded images from the daily news.
His process is time-consuming and detailed, with a fascinating disconnect between 'old-fashioned' medium and 21st-century subject matter, as well as between the scale of the events and of their representations.
By deliberately slowing things down for a contemporary audience of media-rich time-poor viewers, Simmons seems to offer an Analogue experience in place of the Digital encounters we've become used to expecting.