‘Metropolis’ : Dan Stafford and Clare Lane
29 January – 5 March 2011
This two person show brings together, for the first time, ceramics by Dan Stafford and wall based textiles by Clare Lane in an exhibition of work inspired by the modern urban environment.
Clare will show a series of canvases based on Liverpool’s Stanley Dock.
The Stanley Dock has been a regular haunt of mine since 2007 when I passed the site one July with the kids in the car on the way to see the “Gormleys”. We never got there…at least not that time. I pulled up at the side of the road, and spent the next hour trying to find a way in, taking photos of what I could. Since then I have returned at intervals and negotiated access to spend hours walking the warehouses and recording its’ gradual entropic decline.
The site itself has been one in a regular state of transition since it was first developed. The original dock basin of the 1850’s was twice the width it is today. The two original warehouses were designed by the great Jesse Hartley of Albert Dock fame but their pairing was interrupted in 1901 by the arrival of the 14 storey Tobacco warehouse which spanned part of the old dock basin. This consolidated the sites industrial use and it remained this way until its gradual obsolescence from the 60’s onwards. Apparently the basement of the Tobacco warehouse was used as a mortuary during the Second World War for American soldiers prior to shipping them home.
Despite my initial thoughts on this site as one of empty dereliction, it is in fact buzzing with activity. Not the industrial activity of its nostalgic past but the various and creative use of a modern urban society. I hope my own story, one published in textiles, in some way makes its own contribution to this fascinating, lively and gritty place.
Clare records the physical environment through drawing, painting and photography, selected images are then transferred to a computer and digitally manipulated resulting in a printed textile montage. The final compositions are akin to a contemporary tapestry in both technique and visual reference.
My work investigates exterior and interior perspective, man-made structures, industrial landscape and high rise architecture. The exploration of composition and the configuration of structures and their component parts, are presented as abstract forms. My work continues to investigate a dialogue between, physical and emotional responses to optical illusions, pattern, rhythm and balance.
The exploration of line and colour results in geometric pattern, where the surface geometry is exaggerated and accentuated. Multiple perspectives, planes, angles and edges play with notions of depth, distance and direction.
Scale plays a key roll in the intimacies and meaning of my work and how it is displayed, both individually and collectively. The process of making is important to me, it enable me to explore and develop methods of abstraction and interpretation, intricate application of surface pattern and texture, and the ability to push the physical limits of the material and boundaries of my creative practice.