Alison Unsworth: Things to think with

29 Oct 2014 – 13 Dec 2014

Regular hours

12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00

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England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Nearest bus station: Gateshead Interchange
  • Nearest Metro station: Gateshead Metro
  • Nearest Railway station: Newcastle Central
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Alison Unsworth: Things to think with


For her first solo exhibition with Vane, Alison Unsworth presents new work created during the last six months — developed from found objects, such as souvenirs, street furniture, and photographs — that displays her longstanding fascination with the built environment and, increasingly, in the wildlife and in particular the birdlife within it. Inspired by discussions of the relationship between walking, looking and thinking in Raymond Tallis' book, Reflections of a Metaphysical Flaneur, her drawings present things seen on walks in urban places. As travel writer Robert McFarlane writes in The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, ‘Soren Kierkegaard speculated that the mind might function optimally at the pedestrian pace of three miles per hour'. Unsworth's objects dwell on minutiae, the details of landscape missed by the car or train traveller. In her digital prints with watercolour added by hand, objects and creatures are isolated from their context and presented as items for consideration or examination, reminiscent of exhibits in a museum: a freshly dug lump of asphalt becomes a readymade plinth for an urban blackbird and a seagull perched on a lamppost, reflecting its orange glow, becomes an alternative public sculpture. The exhibition also includes a series of small sculptures created from ornaments which have had their focal point removed, leaving just the base behind as inspiration for a new landscape which Unsworth has created by adding small details. Unsworth's work poses the question: can we rid ourselves of the mental baggage of our busy lives and ‘look for it's own sake', noticing what is around us?


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