This exhibition will also coincide with the publication of a limited edition monograph on Israel's Betwixt series published by Silverhill Press http://www.silverhillpress.co.uk/ featuring an introductory essay by the artist John Stezaker.
Jo Israel's photography and light box exposures unearth the hidden natural and cultural histories embedded in paper and glass, evoking enchanted lost worlds of ancestral memory. All of the work in this exhibition is made using pages taken from bygone picture books and Victorian magic lantern slides. In her Betwixt series, Israel seeks to create singular images for contemplation in an age of image-multiplicity. Using a primitive form of X-ray, Israel shines light through the pages of old picture books that have images printed on both sides of the page. The two previously separated images combine, exposing an unseen image world - an unknown space that we all inhabit unconsciously in our world of media images. Israel detaches and houses the appropriated pages in bespoke light boxes (which she calls Shadow Boxes) in order to preserve the moment of image discovery in perpetuity.
In Israel's Between series she explores the translucent space between images using Victorian glass magic lantern slides. From her vast collection of magic lantern slides Israel selects and combines multiple slides in order to create three dimensional, almost holographic images, which she houses and illuminates in her Shadow Boxes.
"... but for the most part one is drawn into the strange third space of entanglement and of metamorphosis where flowers can become stone stars, faces become masks and the spell of enchantment subdues any impulse to disentangle the component images except as an attempt to dissimilate the magic of the illusion and counter the spell of these 'traps for the gaze'". (Excerpt from John Stezaker's essay The Illuminated Page, 2018)
Electro Studios Project Space, Seaside Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN38 0AL
9th, 10th, 16th & 17th October, 11-5pm and by appointment between 11th - 15th October 2021.
The monograph launch event will be at the Electro Studios Project Space on 9th October, 1-5pm. Copies will be available for sale during the exhibition and via www.silverhillpress.co.uk