“Art is a lie that makes us realise truth” - Picasso
Last month, Yorkton Workshops in Hoxton, east London filled up with artists and art lovers alike to celebrate five artists from the BRUSHWRK community in our 6th exhibition. Within the scope of their differing specialisms, our curator Georgie Seymour selected pieces to the theme of ‘The Fusion of Horizons: Truth and Fiction’, generating a captivating collection of art that delved into the complex interplay between truth and fiction in our world. In this exhibition, Georgie emphasised the role of context to artwork - whether given by the curator or the artist themselves - as an important tool in helping the viewer to create a story around a piece beyond their initial aesthetic response. And it was just that, the art of storytelling, that encircled the evening.
Through the use of colour, form, and composition, the visual language of art has the power to evoke emotions, convey narratives and explore complex themes, just like literature. The exhibition focused on highlighting visual art as an equally valid form of storytelling as typical devices like writing or film.
This is despite a heavy world where storytelling, fairytales and folklore may feel redundant compared to the issues at hand. However, fiction can be a way of processing our past as well as understanding our present. It can help us to develop our imagination and come to terms with our real lives more effectively so should not be overlooked in the face of a turbulent world. From the philosopher Georg Gadamer’s point of view, it is even more important for us to look to fiction in these times.
The space itself was buzzing with conversation: of a friend being introduced to a friend, of solo exhibition goers finding conversations with others. The atmosphere was one of openness, welcoming both industry professionals and those experiencing an exhibition environment for the first time. We had the opportunity to speak with the artists about their work and its relationship with 'Truth and Fiction: The Fusion of Horizons'...
“Fiction is the lie that tells the truth. We tell stories to better understand the world around us. To communicate truths through time we hand them down from mouth to ear, adult to child, century to century. Through the telling and hearing of stories, we become more able to create and tell our own; the past of fiction comes to shape the present of truth. Fiction teaches us that we can imagine better worlds, truth tells us that they can come to pass. I want to tell stories, stories that are both mine and others, stories that allow time and reality, truth and the imagined to become slippery to each other's boundaries. In a world that contains the bizarre, unreal, uncontainably powerful magic of falling in love, why should there not be trees that talk and doors that open on full moon nights that lead, darkly, down into the Hollow Hills?”
“My artwork explores a fictional world, where humans have disappeared from the earth, and plants are now the dominant species. This idea was inspired by science fiction novels Day of the Triffids and Vermilion Sands, and ultimately aims to explore the impact that humanity (and consequently the urban world) has had, and will continue to have on Earth.”
“For me, truth and fiction mean navigating the nuanced interplay of reality and interpretation. As humans, we are constantly compelled to find and make meaning in the images we see around us, so I wanted my pieces to become a dance between authenticity and perception. Where so often photography is regarded as a medium of truth, I aimed to challenge this and create two triptychs that invite viewers to discover their own truths within moments suspended in time. For example, the urban abstraction depicted within both triptychs amplifies this - the international blurring of familiar scenes challenges any preconceived notions, urging the audience to question the boundaries between reality and imagination.”
“My mini series ‘experiments with parasomnias’ is an exploration of the liminal space between sleep and consciousness. Shot on 35mm film in b&w, I’m interested in exploring what the tangible presence of sleep is and how it manifests in the photographs. Printed on Hahnemühle Photorag Metallic paper, the metallic tone adds an extra iridescence to the images”
“A lot of the work I do is with very little thought. That’s not to say there’s no thinking, of course some of the more obvious choices I make I have to think about it a little bit. However I’ve found my strongest work has always been the pieces where I have painted too quickly for my brain to catch up. To give myself that freedom has given room for a more authentic experience I believe. To me the theme truth and fiction was about blurring the lines. That grey area in between is where I find myself most comfortable going into a new piece. There is a collapse in the physical world in these paintings. The figures are there but never in a recognisable or tangible place; I think this gives them the freedom to exist anywhere they want”