Striations, digging machines, blades - both depicted and the tools used to make the work - slashes, slices, gouges, and dissections, how could we not call this exhibition DiG?!
DiG presents two artists whose work seems utterly incongruent and dissimilar, but it isn’t the dissimilarity that is at odds here; it’s what the similarities turn in their furrows. The work of Didi Edwards and Gill Gregory share an uncanny similarity of structure - uncanny precisely because the work is so dissimilar. Didi’s bold, brash strokes of colour evoke an energetic tumultuous disposition, often within a centralised plane of activity. While there are few visible grids in her compositions, there is an underlying grid structure, which gives form and direction to the work, propelling the dynamism with reason and logic.
Gill’s work is largely based on the grid, though her compositions move beyond the confines of the grid. Within the visible grid structure there is a sense of an erratic force penetrating the ordered surface of her found materials. Her layered excavations attest to this; digging down in grid-structured areas the disordered interior layers burst out in sharp contrast to the surface cohesion. Also, the incorporation of found staining and discolourations in her pieces; far from imposing the grid on these stains, Gill uses the grid to bring these stains to the fore, causing their formless disarray to stand in relief to the supporting grid. The ordered grid is only a feigned control on the internal disorder at work.
The contrast between the intended mark and the found trace produces a rich vein of possibility that shares a frontier with choice and chance; every found trace is a selective choice based in chance, and every intended mark is a chance occurrence formed by choice. It only seems that intention and discovery are at opposite ends of the pole. They in fact sit side by side.
DiG is what its name suggests, structured digging into the chaotic unknown.
Text by Jane Boyer
click on images for details and to enlarge