Starting from Plato’s analogy of the Divided Line, the artists in this group exhibition explore through drawing, painting and photography, the dualism and interplay between form and perceptible physical objects, likeness and real, visible and intelligible.
Through the allegory of the Divided Line, from the Book VI of the Republic (509D-513E), Plato describes the visible world of perceived physical objects and the images we make of them.
By images he means ‘first, shadows, and then reflections in water and on surfaces of dense, smooth and bright texture, and everything of that kind’ (510A).
Beyond this visible world lies an intelligible world. By drawing a line, he separates the visible realm and the intelligible realm.
He calls the upper half of the divided line intelligible and the lower half visible, meaning that things are ‘seen’ by the mind (510E), rather than by the eye.
Informed by pictorialist and formalist photography and employing a minimalist approach, I have responded to Plato’s allegory of the Divided Line by capturing on photographic film orderly delineations of forms. Contrasts between forms, light and strong shadows, along with sinuous, modular, stacked and extended lines, depict things and worlds that can be seen but not thought, but also things and worlds that can be thought but not seen.
The theme of Delineate instantly embraces photography. It is socially understood that photographs can and do accurately portray something, somewhere or someone. Photographs are frequently relied upon to be accurate delineations of events, places, people, facts and evidence in all facets of modern human life.
In my work I embrace that moment of capturing a photograph, using only what’s there at the time . . . the visible and intelligible . . . as well as energy and essence. I find what catches me and simply hope to share that with you.
Often it’s the little things. Literally. Small details, glances, moments.
I am drawn to many subjects and locations, different light qualities and textures. More often than not I capture things that I wasn’t looking for. They find me. They grab my attention. And I like them enough to take a photo. It’s similar to that feeling of discovering a pebble at the beach and wanting to smuggle it into your pocket and perhaps save it on a windowsill to remind and inspire.
In this exhibition I have also explored my interest and growing obsession with marks of place – additional human indicators like house numbers, storage labels, theatre fly line numbers, street tags and street art used to delineate place, territory, ideas, systems, human logic, emotions, power, age . . . everything and anything!
Within Plato’s analogy of the divided line, my work slips beneath the cracks to occupy the lowest metaphysical level, representing ‘the world of becoming and passing away’ (Republic, 508d)…
Rather happy with being philosophised as the ‘lowest of the low’ in terms of rational perception, my work explores pop culture, mythology and the absurd, through nostalgia, day dreams, nightmares and flights of fancy.
My work delves into antiquity, questions the gaze, and contemplates mortality, playing with notions of perception, likeness and real, visible and intelligible.
I work predominantly in multimedia, oil paint, charcoal and pastels. I am an expressionistic figurative based painter and drawing artist who also practices the abstract style via the use of drawing machines.
While predominantly working from the figure and from life, I am fascinated by the unplanned possibilities and results that arise from using my drawing machines to limit and extend line and form. I am very interested in developing the strength of the unpredictable quality of line, made by blind contour drawing as well as drawing machines and how that can influence the voice and feeling of my work.
Delineate is open, as part of the 2016 Fringe, until Sunday 13 March.
Mrs Harris’ Shop is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am – 3pm, with at least one of the artists in attendance.
Pop in to chat with them about their work!