STUART WHIPPS: Birth Springs, Death Falls10. Jan - 10. Feb 13 / ended Flat Time House
Thurs - Sun 12-6pm
Flat Time House opened its adjoining flat as a permanent residency space earlier this year. For his first solo show in London, Stuart Whipps presents an exhibition of work made while in residence.
Stuart spent his time at FTHo researching the archive material from John Latham's Artist Placement Group (APG) placement with the Scottish Office Development Agency between 1975 and 1976. This also involved a visit to the shale bings of West Lothian - Latham's object of study during his time in Scotland. Stuart's exhibition maps the connections between Latham and other historical protagonists including James "Paraffin" Young, who was the first to refine mineral oil on a commercial scale. This process left behind the shale heap bings of West Lothian and financed David Livingstone's "explorations" of Zambia - Latham's birthplace. Stuart's complex project involving photography, installation and text aligns multiple histories and geological monuments with the contemporary moment.
Although the archive was Stuart's starting point, the trajectory of his investigation disassembles any archival categorisation or order by collapsing the representation of historical events and their material evidences into one body of work. Birth Springs, Death Falls positions alongside each other representations of geographical phenomena both naturally occurring such as the Victoria Falls as well as the man-made shale bings and to scale replica of the waterfall built by "Paraffin" Young in Scotland. Stuart's exhibition traces a complex genealogy between the various geological and historical characters by adapting established modes of presentation stretching from landscape photography through to museological framing.
Stuart Whipps' (1979, Birmingham) work begins with an historic position or artefact. His practice is an examination of issues associated with shared bodies of knowledge. Predominantly using photography and video alongside remade or visually reconfigured materials Whipps questions the role of documentation. His work explores the shifting nature of cultural values and context coupled with a questioning of the importance, veracity or significance of historical documents over time. Stuart's recent solo exhibitions include Tick, Tack, Tick, Tack, Tick, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (2012); Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness? Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2011); New Wooabbeleri, Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea (2010); The Scenery is Very Wonderful. The Weather is Good, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales (2010) and Ming Jue, New Art Gallery Walsall (2008).
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