AboutJacob Cartwright's solo exhibition, 'Angle Shades', at 3 Hardman Square, features a trilogy of films and new paintings that explore our relationship to the natural world, juxtaposed with a wry humour and framed by the cinematic.
The exhibition takes its title from Cartwright's latest film, which premieres here. A combination of documentary and reverie, 'Angle Shades' (2014) is a montage of video snapshots filmed over the course of an English summer. Intimate and close-up observations of wildlife are presented as an open-ended meditation on time and our curious interaction with nature. Wonder and beauty, life and death, are explored through the act of looking and touching. A soundtrack made up of snatches of conversation and real-time comments underpin the visuals with humour, a sense of innocence and inquisitiveness.
Cartwright's second film 'No Passage Landward' (2014) begins at dusk. A lone fisherman wanders into frame, climbs clumsily onto a rock and casts a line. In so doing, he unwittingly takes on the lead role in this short film. No Passage Landward documents a man fishing from the rocky coastline of Anglesey, but also, in an overt reference to the romantic idea of transfiguration depicted in the paintings of Casper David Friedrich, it reflects upon a solitary figure facing the sea, seeking the sublime in contemplation of nature.
The third film in the trilogy, 'Kaskaskia' (2013) is a documentary concoction; the eponymous subject being a settlement on the banks of the Mississippi, a remnant of a once thriving French colonial community. The film plays with the familiar trope of American gothic and adds a preposterous voiceover to create a strange and brooding hybrid short, with a nod to French New Wave cinema.
The new paintings included in the exhibition take subjects captured through a lens or from a screen (during Cartwright's process of film-making), and render then anew in ink and watercolour, improvising on the themes of nature and the absurd that are familiar in his work. The field has eyes, the woods have ears. I want to see, be still and listen" (- After Anonymous, Low Countries, 1546)