Collection works featured in the exhibition chart the gradual shift from representation to abstraction, arguably one of the most influential artistic developments of the twentieth century. More recent works illustrate how, to this day, abstraction is used to various degrees, from relatively minor formal alterations in otherwise realistic works, to completely abstract compositions in which the painting bears no resemblance to the real world. Highlight works include paintings by Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, Patrick Heron, Chris Ofili, Prunella Clough, Ben Nicholson, Mark Gertler and Frank Auerbach.
Contemporary artists Cook, Goodwin, Pickering and Trickett join forces as The Occasion Collective to experiment with notions of reality and the natural and artificial worlds, bringing together art and technology. In response to the Laing’s collection works and the theme of abstraction’s long legacy they have made a new interactive installation of sound, image, object and digital experience entitled The Bottomless Pit of Outros.
They have created a virtual reality rendering of the Laing’s grand Edwardian gallery suites, in which works from the collection can be reimagined in an ever-changing virtual display.
The partnership between the Laing Art Gallery and The NewBridge Project has been devised with the dual aim of supporting emerging artists from the region, as well as creating a new platform for The NewBridge Project at a time of both flux and renewed ambition as they relocate to new premises at Carliol House, Market Street.'
It is a really impressive installation that works especially well in the context of the Laing as opposed to a white cube gallery space. The vibrant modern interiors created by The Occasion Collective contrast with the traditional interior of the Laing Gallery, and made me consider the collection works in a new manner which I enjoyed.
In this instance I did not find that the virtual reality added anything to my experience of the work. I find myself being impressed by the technological complexities, but find virtual reality difficult to respond on a more artistic level.
I'm looking forward to a couple of the associated forthcoming programmed events alongside this exhibition:
Cooking with Three performance in The Bottomless Pit of Outros
The Laing Art Gallery
Saturday 12 August, 6-7pm
Cooking With Three are a mixed-media improv ensemble that work loosely with dance, visuals and sound, directed by Jamie Cook. Collaboration is a key element of the group’s process, with core members Lizzie J Klotz (dance), Adam Goodwin (visuals) and Jamie Cook (sound) inviting members of all disciplines to an open fortnightly forum to improvise together and develop interdisciplinary improvised performance.
The ‘Echoes of Abstraction II and the Bottomless Pit of Outros’ performance will be fully improvised, realised amongst the exhibition, responding to the work as well and the unique space and audience at the Laing.
| PMP | ‘the listening room‘ – conversation
The NewBridge Project
Saturday 19 August, 5pm
For this salon style event everyone is invited to come along to discuss the role of located & performance-based sound in the contemporary sonic arts.
Jez Riley French will be on hand to present a talk on some of aspects of his work with extended listening & recording, and to highlight some key artists working with located sound. The talk will then lead us into an open conversation where everyone is welcome to contribute. Whatever your interest in sound come along with questions or comments for us all to discuss.