ORGAN PREVIEW: Tricia Gillman’s latest exhibition, Moment Fields, has just opened at East London’s Benjamin Rhodes Arts…


Organ preview: Tricia Gillman, Moment Fields 2019-2023 at Benjamin Rhodes Arts –  “Benjamin Rhodes Arts is very pleased to present new work from Tricia Gillman’s London studio, recently featured in the John Moores Prize 2020, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020 & the Derwent Art Prize 2022. This resumes our historic exhibiting partnership and follows Gillman’s participation in regular  solo and group shows across the UK.”

Artist Tricia Gillman has a new exhibition, the show has just opened at East London’s Benjamin Rhodes Arts  Gillman is an artist who has built a  more than healthy reputation over the last thirty years, an artist to be to be celebrated, an artist who pushes her abstraction just a little further. In a rather rewarding recent exhibition at The Cello Factory, she explored her interest in the brain, “a kind of negotiated looking, which slows down and spotlights awareness as it flows. The mind’s eye journey is also investigated. These accumulated moments, (pieces of drawing, rubbings, collage, found surfaces, studio debris, or notes one’s written to oneself, ) were pieced together to enact a direct transference of real, haphazard everyday things into this open-ended and non-hierarchical document”, it was a show that challenged the viewer to look a little closer and it was the last time we encountered her work in terms of a solo show. Rather looking forward to seeing what she has in this latest exhbition at Benjamin Rhodes.

“What is remarkable about this work, is that in the constantly increasing sophistication of its playful deployment of mark, image and sign, and its varieties of formal experiment and invention, it has constantly retained that signature tension between the emotional and the intellectual, the risky poise – if that is the right word – between the problematically linguistic (so to speak) and the joyfully hedonistic. Like all truly gifted artists, she cannot escape from the determinations of her creative predispositions and critical preoccupations: her painting is essentially philosophical”.

Of her latest show – Moment Fields: 2019-2023  Paintings and Collage – Tricia Gillman says ‘The aim is to record the moment-to-moment experience of thinking, sensing, feeling and remembering, documenting as directly as possible, our conscious awareness, as each present moment emerges, focuses and melts away. The space of the painting becomes a mapping site, the raw canvas accrues evidence, like the way a tablecloth, a sheet, or a wall collects stains, or the skin we live in rides its years. Materials chosen, are “of the earth,” (charcoal, graphite, pastel,) elemental, like dust, pollen or sediment. While the works evolve, through touch, scribble, dustings of pigment, words, images and erasures, they construct and deconstruct themselves, mirroring the emergence and the dissolving of thoughts, feelings and sensations as they unfold simultaneously within the mind and the container of the medium. The slow and generous act of looking negotiates and shares this intimacy of consciousness…

My quest in this series is for materials, structures and processes that might harness and embody moment-tomoment, consciousness, mapping movements of awareness as directly as I can perceive and process them. Materials and processes are chosen to set up a kind butterfly net that scoops up the passing moment as directly and openly as possible….

Thoughts and felt sense surrender to the moment, through response and adjustment they bear witness to the continuum of the “now” and the lure of the half-formed, latent state. This sense of open experiencing seems to me to be my request of myself and from the generosity of the viewer. No hiding or dressing up. One thing leads to another, one thing obscures and another reveals…. a time -based record of our being consciously here, now.”  

The late Mel Gooding closed his 2011 essay for Gillman’s 30-yr Retrospective Stepping Stones:  ‘Time and memory, space and sensation, what has been and what is here present; culture and nature; inner world and outward reality: all contract, in a simultaneity of sensation and reflection, to the span of a single canvas! Painting enacts the vertiginous reality of consciousness.’

“I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am untrue”. Rainer Maria Rilke

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little”. John Kabat Zinn

Tricia Gillman: Moment Fields 2019-2023, is at Benjamin Rhodes Arts, 62 Old Nichol Street, London E2 7HP. The show runs until 1st April 2023, the gallery is open Wed-Sat 12-6).  

There is an interesting interview that, although it is referring to specific work, does give some interesting background reference in terms of how the artist works and thinks, her language explained a little… 


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