Tim Ellis: The Tourist

12 Mar 2011 – 29 Apr 2011

Event times

10am-5pm Tues-Sat

Cost of entry



Exeter, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Ten minute walk from Paris Street Bus Station
  • Exeter St Davids

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This spring Spacex will present The Tourist, the first UK solo show by London based artist Tim Ellis. The exhibition will include a series of new paintings and sculptures that respond to each main space within the gallery.

The exhibition was conceived as a journeyman's view over three gallery spaces. The first will use a figure as a prompt or signifier for the show leading into an installation housing a variety of shelving structures, screens and tables to juxtapose symbolic objects and artefacts. The final space will contain monuments displayed next to large draped banners, drawing inspiration from graphic tourist posters from the 1930's, these will act as landscapes for sculptures to sit in. This will be seen as a construct of the second manifesting itself in a mixture of totemic assemblages.

Ellis centers his practice around the idea 'that a Being has a primeval desire to want to belong to something greater than oneself'. This notion or desire of 'wanting to belong' manifests itself in both the production and consumption of his work. Ellis continually explores the idea that every object, whether in isolation or as a collection is dependent on a creator, mediator and audience, and as a consequence inherits their aspirations, values and intentions.

The Tourist seeks to explore the way cultural objects and symbols can be consumed. The title refers to a way of positioning the viewer when navigating the work. This position being one of a tourist, exploring a wide variety of opposing objects and ideas in such a way that removes their original intention or what they commonly represent. This shift in value offers the opportunity to question their purpose, authorship and meaning within a new or altered context.

With perceptions of cultural sentiment and social significance addressed, the viewer will be invited to engage with notions of symbolism, artefact and artifice.


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