Emptiness is seen by most as a space that lacks, but for the artists, it is a space that holds all - present, past, and future. Fossilised on the surface, the compositions carry multiplicities of the human form, ripples of movement that echo through vast nothingness; becoming Everything-ness. The cracks and smudges inhabiting each frame are surrounded by Ma (the Japanese term for negative space). The Ma surrounds the absented presence like the water surrounding a discretely deserted island.
Lucas Bullens is a Swiss-born artist specialising in the medium of photography. Interested in ideas of the ‘soul’, his practice revolves around exploring the transcendental. Using the camera as an instrument, he seeks to extract the immaterial buried within the material. The mostly monochromatic sequences he presents are a minimalist yet intricate reflection of the world he feels around him. Lucas works with an array of materials, however, always keeping the manipulation and movement of light at the core of his practice.
Celestial Saults (Divers), 2022
This series of prints by Lucas Bullens explores notions of the soul being the starting point of all motion in things that live. Here, the human body is rendered to a calligraphic smear. The blurry strokes separate the figures of their human form. Much like the figures of Étienne-Jules Marey and deities of Eastern theology, the multiplicity of the spirit is presented within a single frame. A frame dominated by emptiness, a sort of rectangular Śūnyatā, where the subject is connected to all and out of the void dualities arise.
Celestial Saults No.3, 5, 9 (detail)
Fergus Channon is a London-based artist exploring ways of marking time through the medium of painting. He has developed a unique method where he manipulates the traditions of painting through the innovative application of distemper to canvas. He has discovered a method of tightening the surface of the canvas to such an extent that he can control his paintings to either change and evolve over time or be affected by interventions that reveal the indexical mark evoking a sense that the artist is present.
Ghosts of a Presence, 2022-2023
A blank empty canvas is a loaded powerful symbol of potential for a painter. Infinite possibilities mentally project onto the surface teasing, challenging, and eluding the artist. These indexical marks lock in the evidence of presence, condensing interactions into singular moments in time. Made with the purest and sparest materials, these tattooed marks are loaded and direct. They are not a translation nor are they an interpretation; They are the marks made, obedient to the proportions and weight of the body, allowing the viewer to access the relationship between body and surface, time as a present moment and as the preservation of a moment.
Living Painting Series, Distemper on canvas
The Ghost of a Presence, Oil on Canvas
THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE
17-23 April 2023
no format Gallery, Moulding Lane, Arklow Road, London, UK