Semblance: A collaboration by four artists
1. Outward aspect or appearance,
2. An assumed appearance; show,
3. The slightest appearance or trace,
4. A likeness, image or copy.
Suzannah Holford, Holly Kemish, Mimi Tobot & Alison Williams
The work of these four artists is an exploration of perception; from how we look at outwardly recognisable mountain ranges to seeing more in a white sheet of paper, from tracing the movement and focus of the eye to looking through and beyond an image of windows and reflections. The work in this collection will invite the viewer to reconsider what it is they are looking at and ask questions about how they view art and their surrounding environments.
To address the ideas of recognisable place and space, Suzannah Holford creates prints and drawings of imaginary landscapes. Made in a variety of ways, using a plethora of different everyday materials, she presents the invented geographies as optical illusions. By capturing the delicacy and subtle shifts in tone of the mountain ranges and preserving them on paper, Holford encourages the viewer to question what is beautiful about the landscapes and what it is about the drawings which makes us understand them as seemingly recognisable images. Holford also associates the mountain ranges with geological growth, suggesting that their outward appearance is a trace of history and the passage of time.
On a smaller and more gestural level, Holly Kemish uses crumpled and distorted paper as a tool to depict space and form. She uses the voids within her work and the tension between the push and pull of the perspectives to collapse, disguise and adjust the spaces. How the viewer detects the slight shift in tone depends on their point of view; the action of the work lies as much in how they are viewed as it does in the crumpling, cutting and pressing of the paper. Kemish examines the value paper possesses in the art world by promoting it from the carrier of an image to the subject matter itself.
Mimi Tobot collapses the spaces within her prints and photographs to emphasise the barriers we invariably experience in our view of an image. By focusing her attention on the smears and grime of the window panes, Tobot alters how we understand what lies beyond; it is an assumed appearance or a hint at what we expect. She alters our perceptions and expectations of space by adding layers of paint, which conceal parts of our view and cause us to question our concept of looking through and beyond the various physical planes. She explores how assumedly transparent planes can indeed be obstructions to a clear view of what lies beyond, due to the disruptions of light and marks on the surface.
The work of Alison Williams also draws on how we look at and understand the world around us. Her fluent and rapid line drawings follow the movement of the eye; by tracing this ‘journey’ Williams creates links between the external visual world and the internal view of the mind. She makes use of the peripheral vision and her work tests how we focus on different aspects of our surroundings. The flowing lines represent our visual experience and allow the viewer to question their contribution to the work; how their eyes experience the visual journey across the drawings and how their peripheral vision creates a semblance of the world around them.