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Ann Symes


NOV 2017

Two years have galloped by since I moved from living and working quietly in my studio surrounded by woodland.  Now my environment is one of man-made structures in the centre of Arundel where I am running Gallery57 which itself structures my life.  To mark the gallery's second birthday I am showing a collection of new work.


I knew this change of environment and life style would influence and impact on any new work.  The catalyst for the series was a chance remark made by friend and sculptor, Lawrence Dicks last Autumn and has resulted in a body of work which is unlike anything I've done before.

Charcoal drawings grew in size, deepened in layers and felt like constructions.  I continued layering intuitively until it was time to work into them in a more considered way. The drawings developed into mono prints which led to cut and folded paper constructions, then sculpture and painting, all based on the simple act of folding and unfolding paper.  The sequential nature of the work made me think of the word "sequence" and then "consequences" which reminded me of the game from childhood.  I folded the paper, still remembering how I used to make them and took it to a welder for making up a series of sculptures in stainless steel.  They are relevant, illustrating how I chose to take a chance to change my life.

It became clear that the folding and unfolding of paper was a metaphor for my own "unfolding" process experienced during the previous two years in particular.


The  drawings have a new strength, energy, independence and confidence which I find exciting.  Devoid of the usual texture and patterning present in previous work, the drawings focus on layers, planes and structure. They have solidity and substance but also movement inviting the eye to travel across, through, round and into them - a geometry that doesn't make sense, which I like, because it suggests an incompleteness and that there is more to develop.

The evident architectural and geometric elements are not surprising as my subconscious has absorbed the planes of sloped, angled roofs and linear edges of buildings that I can see from upstairs' windows and around Arundel.

A combination of internal and external structures is at play and, as usual, it is through experiment and intuition that this body of work has evolved  and new discoveries made - exactly the way I like to work.

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