On the Surface

13 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

Event times

Fri-Sun, 12 - 5.30

The Parlour Studios & Project Space

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 24, 46
  • Chalk Farm, Kentish Town

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The Parlour Gallery and Project Space is pleased to present ‘On the Surface' — an exhibition of work by eleven contemporary artists exploring the covering, uncovering and discovering of marks on surfaces. We human beings find it hard to leave surfaces alone. Over the centuries, we have painted, stitched, incised, etched, built, shaved and carved marks onto every kind of surface: textiles and building materials, manufactured objects, the earth itself, and our own skin. Philip Lee will perform Stable V — a live body action - during the opening event of On The Surface at The Parlour on Friday 12th December (6-9pm). He will use clay and pigments on his body to mark paper and other media; the remnants of the performance and prints become part of an installation. Estelle Holland's films explore the voyeuristic gaze through the making of marks on skin. For On The Surface, she takes elements of the body and uses them as canvas, subjecting them to automatic drawing. Cally Trench observes the marks found on the surface of the earth: paths, road markings, graves, boundary fences, flower beds — and maps them on to paper or canvas. In On the Surface, she is showing a life-size, segmented Grave. Frances Anne Greenough starts from the marks and lines on Ordnance Survey maps, and from geological and botanical information about an area, to create landscape paintings that balance between fact and fiction. Lis Mann works with multilayered surfaces and manufactured materials; in In the Year 2424, the materials are woven to represent the garden of the future in a world where natural materials have disappeared. Tà ¢nia Bandeira Duarte creates drawings and installations which exist between real space and illusion, questioning how we think and perceive the world. For this exhibition, she explores surface as a medium for abstraction and representation, leading the viewer to experience different levels of perception. Imogen Welch covers objects with everyday materials. In Data Protection, an office workstation is patch-worked with the patterned paper that lines the inside of envelopes. Alex Dewart's paintings explore our need for order in the juxtaposition of the regular patterns of origami paper set against motifs from classic English suburbia. Patrick Jeffs uses a high degree of contrasts and a complex variety of graphic marks to create coloured surfaces which evoke a mysterious inner world of imagined forms. In Jacqueline Ashmore's small monochrome paintings of everyday surfaces, the familiar becomes both solid and unstable. Alan Franklin writes: My work arises out of a simple curiosity for the world. For me making art is just another way of exploring the ideas and complexities of the human condition. No doubt in my youth I left my initials carved on a tree or scratched on a desk. By now the wound to the tree will have healed over and the desk is perhaps buried ash in a field. It is hard to believe that any of our marks will be more enduring and yet collectively we have the power to change the entire surface of the planet. Guest-curated by Cally Trench


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