Thursday, 3 November 2016

Kate Gritton, Valerie Grove, Wheel N Come Again!

Kate Gritton works with oils, acrylics, sometimes plaster and all sorts of other things to create deeply layered works in which mesmerising surfaces emerge from a long process of painting and working on the canvas. Her prints and collographs likewise emerge from such a layered process. The suggestions of movement in her work are on a large scale. Slow and powerful shifts of the forces of nature that are never still but are only noticed when they become so dramatic they impact on human life.

As well as the paintings there are a series of prints each contained within identical, square white frames. The contrast between the whiteness of the frames and the deep, earthy colours and shadowed darkness in these prints works is very effective with each piece a window into another world.

These are really two very interesting artists to put into the same show. Their work complements the other beautifully.  Both use contrast in light and dark very effectively and both use a lot of earthy and natural tones. In the case of Valerie Grove these tones are direct, as her working substances are barks, leaves and wood fibres with the thickly applied paint steeped in natural materials to create its own unique and delicate shade and texture. As you approach each work the textures come into focus and this creates quite a spectacular impact especially with three stark, geometric monochromes.

Wheel N Come Again - an Afro-Caribbean Arts and Film Programme

Gallery Two is full of stories. 'Wheel N Come Again' is a programme of connecting films, paintings, photographs and installation that creates an environment to reflect on the human and familial experience of migration over generations. As such it looks at identity as a construct of individual relationships and experiences in and between different national contexts. The title is a Jamaican expression that relates to the past and how it is remembered, perceived and interpreted to provide knowledge and to allow a continuity of individual and collective memory. This can be distilled into three words: Rewind. Replay. Review.

The multimedia 'Border Ritual' which is a pastiche of the interrogative repetition of border encounters, is set out in its own little retrospective and very atmospheric scene. Each individual aspect of the project is presented in several different but interlinking forms. This includes a zoetrope, revolving on a vintage Bush turntable, which contains images repeated in video and as prints. The audio soundtrack to the video is also accessible by placing the needle on the record which is quite a thrill.

The dialogue between the past and the present here is very clear as it is in the series of photographs hanging throughout the centre of the gallery, each of which have a very personal accompanying letter that relates to the people and the time in each image. What strikes you most as you enter the gallery, however, is the very contemporary drama and life that leaps out of the bright and vibrant colours of a wall of paintings although these too have links to the symbols and motifs of cultural history.

This is an ongoing project in which the four artists (Carla Armour, Farah Way, Tokini Fubara, Akila Richards) create and develop work in response to the film programme which includes full length features and documentary pieces, as well as several shorts. All are available to view in the gallery and there will be evening screenings next week. For more info and screening times check here: Wheel N' Come Again.

Surface Tension
Wheel N' Come Again
Hastings Arts Forum
November 1st - 13th
Private View November 4th - 6.30 -8.30