ORGAN THING: Tricia Gillman, Moment Fields at Benjamin Rhodes Arts – the tiny details feel important, the layers beneath, the things you almost sense rather than see. This, for more than one reason, is a rather recommended exhibition…

Tricia Gillman, Moment Fields 2019-2023 at Benjamin Rhodes Arts – The Benjamin Rhodes gallery is, to employ that awfully over used term, a bit of a hidden gem, not far from the once alive and throbbing with art and now rather overrun by coffee and designer labels Redchurch Street somewhere near the East London vagueness where Shoreditch could be Hoxton.   

Tricia Gillman has a new exhibition, the show is on until April 1st, once again it really is a show you have to see in the flesh, we do keep sating this but art is almost always better when you can just stand there and have a private conversation with it, just you and it, no computer screen, no distraction, just the beautifully intimate business and taking your time to explore and experience the art, just stand there and let it talk to you. yes, some art works on line, yes, online shows are valid, but you really need to get close to Tricia Gillman’s art, you need to stand back and then step in, you almost need to touch (it is hard to resist touching it actually, it really is daring you to).

As we said in the preview we already ran on these fractured pages ahead of the opening, 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). This is work that both that challenges the viewer to look a little closer and delights when you do. The big pieces are both strong and delicately gorgeous, the small ones equally as powerful

Is it playful? if it is then there’s a delightful sophistication in the way the marks are made, in the image, the signals – no, playful is far too  throwaway, there’s so much depth, here, weight, strength, intrigue. it feels very formal, very considered, very careful, every mark mattes, nothing feeling like it might be there in some kind of accidental way? There’s a tension, a strength, there is also a joy, a delight, it really is a pleasure just to stand in front of these fine pieces. Formal experiments, invention maybe?

Of this latest show 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.”  

There’s something very natural, instinctive, challenging yes but never difficult, never feeling like it demands too much, that you are invited to view it on as many levels as you wish to, that it is all there to unfold if you wish to do that, work that invites rather than demands. Work that does demand if you want it to, work that’s deep if that’s what you need from it. Nothing feels small here, the tiny details feel important, the layers beneath, the things you almost sense rather than see. This, for more than one reason, is a rather beautiful , rather rewarding, rather recommended exhibition (sw)

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 12-6pm).  

Do please click on an image to enlarge and t osee the whole image or to run the clide show of photos that really do no justice to the show.

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