“...THE WALLS DISSOLVED AS THEY WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR,
AND ALL THAT WAS LEFT WAS WHAT HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE…”
A dialogue of work by mixed-media painter Nicholas McArthur and filmmaker and animator Chiara Ambrosio.
Exploring the relationship between film and painting and the use of duration, movement and stillness to tell a story, this exhibition documents the exchange between two artist that have worked closely as peers for many years and whose strong friendship continues to inform the work they make.
Both artists use a distinctive narrative or symbolic structure, often focusing on a single protagonist through which to explore the worlds they create. Their characters are in search of something or someone: this might be a quest for salvation, atonement, or home and it can take the shape of either a physical or a metaphysical journey. This search articulates itself within a system of belief, or new mythology created by the artists, that is self-sustaining and absolute for the character and that can offer psychological fulfillment within the parameters of each specific piece of work.
This exhibition endeavors to trace points of contact between the two artists’ practices while at the same time exploring their diverging approaches to a similar theme. Through the use of cinematic and theatrical devices such as sets, lighting, sound and projections, the artists will give form to an interior landscape and offer an insight into their creative process.
Chiara is a visual artist working with video and animation.
Her work is an exploration into ideas of memory, loss and illusion through the use of animation, photography and video installation, deeply rooted in the surreal, absurdist world of Czech and Eastern European animation and literature.
Chiara believes that somewhere between the delighted, naive stupor of childhood and the crepuscular chambers of memory and loss hides all that we need to discover and remember about our identity; her attempt is to translate the intricate and erratic language (and logic) of dreams into moving images and narrative.
Her work is informed by a personal interest in anthropology and more specifically in the symbolic quality and ritualistic relevance of objects and images; film is a tool through which to explore the ability to remember and to conjure back into existence all that is ephemeral and transitory about our experience as human beings, our memories and surroundings.
Chiara works with both live action and animation (using puppets and found objects), together with light and sound, to create short visual poems or prayers, often relying on music and sound to engage with the emotional, irrational and subliminal side of the mind.
Her work has included collaborations with performance artists, composers, musicians and writers, and has been shown in a number of venues including national and international film festivals, galleries and site specific events.
Nicholas McArthur is a multi-media artist working with painting, drawing, collage and sculpture, through which he creates landscapes where psychic dimensions are made physical, and where reality, time and space are defined by the inner journey of the protagonist.
His practice is a process or an attempt to elucidate the underlying psychology that shapes the actions we make, the memories that we form, and the relationships and societies we create.
Nicholas’s work contends with themes such as collective memory, contemporary mythology and emotional or psychological salvation. Each piece tells a story inviting the viewer to enter into an alternate perception. Interwoven narratives and symbolic elements draw points of connection between fractured imagery and meanings. Regrets, desires, passions and memories meld together and metamorphose to form an articulation of an inner world.
Nicholas describes his work as a way to conceive or actualize unrealized possibilities, and to give form to the inexplicable and incomplete visions of these potentialities.
Strongly influenced by literature and film, his work endeavors to adopt and explore some of the structures and dynamics associated to these mediums, creating static images that communicate action or time, narrative and character.
Nicholas’s work has been exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions and group shows in the UK and internationally. Nicholas has also been involved in several performance based projects, the most recent of these being ‘The Dancing Plague of 1518’ a narrative/dance performance.