Sunday 5th May - Jessica Warboys' 'Ab Ovo'
Jessica Warboys’ paintings (although she doesn’t consider herself a painter and some of the work is film/sculptural) are on display in the Spike gallery space until June 16th. Featuring three large ‘Sea Paintings’ of unstretched/unframed canvas that were made whilst the artist lived in Cornwall using the sea to soak the canvas and scattering pigment over them before returning them to the sea to be ‘set’ by the salt water. The description that they [the sea paintings] become, ‘records of their own making’ affected by the saltiness of the water and topography of the beach as it picks up folds and creases on its surface is interesting and can be seen in the staining and incidental-looking mark making in the work. Monumental in scale, like Rothko’s that had been taken for a walk, I can only imagine what it must have been like to physically haul these out of a wavey Cornish sea. The canvases are grounded in how they are hung in the gallery space, touching the floor as though re-connecting them with the earth and I particularly I enjoyed the way they were hung on the wall, no stretchers, frames or mount board –they were simply tacked to the wall with staples and it was this kind of low-tech approach that made them all the more earnest and appealing in my view. I didn’t dwell so long on the films and sculptural works in this exhibition, preferring to immerse myself in the pigmented, sculptural surfaces of the canvases.