So Many Constellations

6 Mar 2015 – 20 Mar 2015

Event times

Opening Friday 6th March 6-10pm
Sunday 2-5pm, Tuesday – Friday appointment only
(Closed Monday & Saturday)

Mayors Parlour Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bow Road, Bow Church

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An exhibition of eight painters at Mayor's Parlour Gallery


MPG Presents - So Many Constellations

Vincent Hawkins, Linda Hemmersbach, Nicholas John Jones, Hannah Luxton , Wendy McLean, Emma Puntis, Laura Smith, Sharon Swaine

Curated by Linda Hemmersbach

So Many Constellations presents eight painters whose work is concerned with painting as silent poetry.

Taking its title from Paul Celan’s poem ‘Soviel Gestirne’ (1963), the exhibition points towards the ability of painting to express the ‘unspeakable’ and ‘unknowable’, beyond the grasp of language. Exploring the importance of this idea, the show contains works of abstraction and figuration that consider pauses, breaks, shifts or emptiness as places that can be occupied spatially and psychologically.

‘Constellation’ refers to a human construction; both a forming of recognisable patterns to make meaning of that which is unfathomable, and also a group of related ideas, feelings or objects. The paintings in this exhibition may be read as existing at a point of a delicate permeability between micro and macrocosm, interior and exterior, bridging the gap between studio and world.

Paul Celan described a poem as ‘lonely and en route’. Similarly, a painting is an object ‘en route’ towards an encounter. Like a bottle thrown out to sea, its fate is uncertain, posing questions into the void. Contained and isolated, it hints at a reality beyond its edges, where meaning is found in darkness and uncertainty, at the fringe of experience.


Paul Celan


So Many Constellations (Soviel Gestirne)


translated by Michael Hamburger


So many constellations that 

are held out to us. I was,

when I looked at you - when? -

outside by

the other worlds.


O these ways, galactic.

O this hour, that weighed

nights over for us into

the burden of our names. It is,

I know, not true

that we lived, there moved,

blindly, no more than a breath between

There and Not-There, and at times

our eyes whirred comet-like

toward things extinguished, in chasms,

and where they had burnt out,

splendid with teats, stood Time

on which already grew up 

and down and away all that 

is or was or will be -,


I know.

I know and you know, we knew,

we did not know, we

were there, after all, and not there

and at times when

only the void stood between us we got

all the way to each other.

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