‘Isle of Slingers’
9 July to 18 September 2016
Isle of Slingers draws together multiple strands from the work of the British artist Stuart Whipps in his largest, most comprehensive exhibition to date.
Whipps trained as a photographer and while his work now ranges more widely, the processes and history of photography underpin much of his thinking. Fixing – the photographic process of setting an image, of preventing any further change by exposure to chemicals – here becomes a motif through which Whipps explores the formation of ideas. Throughout the exhibition Whipps questions how things come to be realised in a certain form and points to the paradoxical effort of attempting this when both ideas and the physical world are in a constant state of flux.
The exhibition takes as its starting point and structuring principle three types of stone – Portland stone, slate and shale – colour coding them to guide the viewer through a series of unexpected narratives that the artist has researched for each of them. A mass of archival information, photographs and objects trace these stories, while the film at the heart of the exhibition attempts to draw out connections between these seemingly isolated trajectories.
While most of the works presented have been newly made for the exhibition, they grow out of ongoing research that has informed the artist’s work over the last ten years. It is the first time that these disparate narratives will be brought together for a single exhibition and includes work made around a concrete sculpture garden in Mexico, the remnants of the Scottish oil industry, a ballet company in 1933 and the theft of flowers from a garden in North Wales.