Intention and Flux explores the relationship between control and chance, and how these condition our lives today. The selected works express in their lines and forms the course of life, defined by unceasing exchanges of controlled actions and external influences. Lines, whether drawn in ink, gouache or thread, are the dominant force in these works. A conscious impetus, each line acts as point of departure for a sequence of erratic events, taking shape on the blank support. Lines cut short prompt imagination and the artists invite their viewers to draw on personal memories and expectations in reading their images.
As the initiator of the project, Bettina John selected works by three fellow artists to be exhibited alongside her own series Dream Houses. Comprised of seven drawings in watercolour on paper depicting fragmented urban landscapes, Dream Houses developed as a reaction to the situation in London and other major cities today, where the idea of a home is but a fragmented fantasy. A former citizen of Berlin, New York and Rio de Janeiro, Bettina treats her drawings as platforms for endless variations of visions of what ‘a home‘ can be. She depicts her urban landscapes in the surrealist form she knows them from personal experience, abstracted and incomplete, illustrative of how limited we are in conducting our lives.
Alison Gibbons Watt’s ink drawings were selected for their organic forms. Inspired by amorphous matter such as smoke, the motifs lack distinct contours or focus points and suggest unpredictability. Still, the artist as the author of the image is present in the meticulously drawn lines. Similarly to the grid-like architectural structures in Bettina’s landscapes, these lines are the onset of subjective interpretations.
Also Ricca Kawai Kalderon works with ink and has over two decades experience of exploring the medium. Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, she is not afraid of incorporating elements of chance in the creative process. Unlike pen or pencil, ink in its most liquid form does not allow for the artist’s control once the initial mark has been made. As seen in Line Ink Paintings, its performance on the paper is unique each time. Unlike Alison’s lines, the lines in Line Ink Paintings are born from a momentum. A momentum, nonetheless, resting on plentiful experience and carried out with uttermost care. Art Historian Martin Kemp has commented on one of the artist’s previous series: "The works are beautiful with their mix of artistic control and spontaneous self-organisation.
On display are two works from Ricca’s Resin Coated Painting-series. As with ink, the artist has limited control over the final form as the material solidifies within minutes, subject only to gravity and the artist’s gesture of pouring.
Amy Bridges’ two imposing paintings, ‘I Like It Because It’s Pretty 1’ and ‘I Like It Because It’s Pretty 2’, exemplify the structures found within organic systems such as nature. Nature, according to the artist, is where we find order and the definition for beauty. Curious to challenge the viewer to question their perception of beauty through her art, Amy imitates patterns inspired by nature, and then unsettles them. The dichotomy between control - as exercised by the artist - and instinctive perception is the real subject matter of these works. Having covered the canvas in a harmonious pattern of carefully selected colours, she uses her hands and physical strength to twist it. While these actions are carried out with care and rest on experience, the resultant creases and new shapes are beyond Amy’s full control. These emerge without the artist’s predetermining and, as components of nature, are one of its kind.