AboutBryan Illsley shows a collection of new abstract paintings and a 9 metre long sculpture entitled Pipeline, which cuts through the middle of the gallery space. The paintings are predominantly grey, grave and dark, though each very different in its range of hues. The sculpture is uncompromisingly neutral in tone, with lines of almost emphatically bare, buff-coloured clay pipes stretched out across rough hewn and spindly wooden trestles. This is a direct, no nonsense communication.
It is important to Illsley that the works bear the marks of his physical involvement. He wants us to feel the energy of the marks that divide the composition of each painting, left from right, and which he makes with rough chunks of graphite found behind an old iron foundry. He wants us to understand viscerally the distinctive character of paint applied with his home-made brushes and to be well aware of the multiple layers of paint (sometimes mixed with Cornish river mud) under the final heavy veil of grey. On the one hand the paintings speak of refusal and on the other of something coming into being. They are concerned with ideas of duration and of a perpetually shifting impermanence, rather than absolute attainment.