Friday 3rd March - 21st March
Opening evening 6pm-9pm
Viewing by Appointment 4th March onwards
Talks with the Artist is availble for groups on request.
Free Entry and refreshments.
Chris Taylor Self & Other
This collection of work was produced during a 10 year period from 1979 -1989. Although a number of these works have been exhibited previously they have never before been seen together. The first of this collection is Self Portrait in Chair which was completed in 1979. The image reflects psychedelic experiments which were starting to impact on my work.
This becomes clearer as figuration starts to fragment into pattern. There then become 2 strands which dominate. In one strand figure and ground become one defined by a multitude of imagery - some allegorical, others arising out of abstract line. In the second strand self or other become essence -pooling and coalescing in a ground of mist and uncertainty.
This decade was a time of great personal uncertainty. My equilibrium had been mightily disturbed and I was questioning the basis of existence itself - who am I? where do I go? what does this life mean? This work reflected my personal existential crisis. What is self and what is other? Where does one end and the other begin? Through empathy we extend our sense of self. And as self dissolves the world expands outwards. As our sense of self hardens the world shrinks.
As a young man I believed I could find wisdom and insight through Art. As I grew older I became disillusioned with this path and gradually turned to the practice of Soto Zen Buddhism for answers. This path has been the touchstone of my life ever since. I learned that the artist in searching for answers does so from an uncertainty (dukkha) based in grasping and clinging which can never be fulfilled because all things are impermanent (anicca) and that self - which is often a focal point for artists - is illusory (anatta). I had been told many years previously by Minor White, a great American photographer, that the artist cannot fully walk the path of enlightenment because of a clinging to attachment and discrimination. Art often encourages, exaggerates and rewards this very human limitation. Not for nothing do we talk of the tortured artist. We celebrate it often.
Nonetheless to be an artist is a blessing - to bring beauty into the world, to see what others often fail to notice. Being an artist can be a choice but it is many times simply who we are. It is our essential nature and we learn to live with that.
As an artist I am content with my lot. I will never storm the gates of heaven or be transported to a Nirvana. And that is exactly how it should be. What is is truly all there is and we must find our resting place within this maelstrom of existence. As artists we choose leave a trail behind us. I hope you enjoy a part of my journey to now.