Grear Patterson,Jonathan Small andFreddy Tuppen:Island Theory
- Grear PattersonInstallation view Island Theory, Jonathan Viner Gallery, 2015
Jonathan Viner is pleased to present Island Theory by Grear Patterson, with Freddy Tuppen and
Jonathan Small. The exhibition’s starting point is the concept of Insular Biogeography: a field developed from the work of the ecologists O. E. Wilson and Robert H. MacArthur. Initially conceptualized to predict the species' richness of oceanic islands, the definition of what constitutes an island has expanded.This area now includes mountain summits, isolated woodland, desert oases and environments enclosed by human-altered landscapes as sites of study. In essence, the theory assesses the fow of species and resources across environmental boundaries in order to formalize the ability of that environment to sustain species’ over time. On a macro scale this can be abstracted to explain global currents of resources and information; in another way it might be used to formulate understandings of artistic practice and exhibition.The conceptualization of this, as a manner of survival of ideas, images and their movement between and within the individual can be understood as a rhizomatic proliferation; some ideas ripple onwards while others are stilled.
In the front gallery, Grear Patterson’s installation Pearl Harbour is an image of
childhood simplicity yet counterpoised with his tank paintings, it takes on a different edge. For Patterson the tanks are personal talismans; the materials with which they are stretched are gathered on his travels and each operates as a personal index. At the same time they might also operate as references to works like Jasper Johns’ American fags or Frank Stella’s shaped canvas’.
In the second gallery, Grear Patterson has invited Jonathan Small and Freddy Tuppen to participate in Island Theory. Kate Bosworth is the subject of Small’s works - she was born with heterochromia iridum, meaning her iris coloration is different in each eye. This enhances the portraits’ gaze whilst the traditional oil portrait attends his study of the desire to preserve and freeze vanity. This labour intensive technique also captures and halts the fow of a number of the many ever updating and changing images of Bosworth which exist digitally.
Freddy Tuppen’s works are made from towels taken from hotels he has stayed in. The title of each one is a trip advisor review of the same hotel. Like the title the towels, which exist in a cycle of use and reuse, suggest a connection to previous guests. This iterates Tuppen’s interest in global movement and tourism. It also addresses his central interest in how an image of place can be constructed. The embroidery on the towels are the extrapolated outcome of repeated drawings made of aspects of each hotel both at the time and after his visit. As the event becomes increasingly removed so the evolving image may become increasingly independent of its referent. In some ways Tuppen’s works perform a similar movement to Small’s by offering a site for a number of changing impressions, however they also change and restate these impressions. The movement through the membranes of process has the effect to alter each aspect of the original memory.