Review: Time Slips Away, at Road Studios

Road Studios, Time Slips Away. LightNight 2017. credit: Tony Knox

Time Slips Away,
Road Studios,
LightNight 2017

Words, Kirsten Hawkins

For the third year in a row, Road Studios has hosted an exhibition as part of Light Night. This year, delivering an installation on the theme of time.

Time Slips Away takes as its premise the idea of limiting time to create an artwork, and countering the commonly held belief that the more time you spend on a project, the better the end result.

This is not the first instance that Road has explored this thesis; last year’s installation, Sketchsperiment joined the concepts of a limited window of time with the notion of “real-time”.

Time Slips Away projected film footage onto the wall, showing time lapse imaging playing from CRT monitors. The films were evidence of the artists’ efforts with just an hour to work with. Some of the artists opted to produce part of a piece in that time, since some crafts require more than an hour for a visible end result. The process was interesting never the less.

The concept behind the exhibition was the brainchild of curator Robert Flynn. Robert’s own addition to the show was a sinister-looking papier mâché mask protruding from the wall, beneath which photos relayed his creative process. Tony Knox’s Mothman starred in a slapstick Jacques Tati-style theatre piece, and found objects in the space provided a humorous mise-en-scène for this boisterous insect.

The moth was not the only creepy crawly in the show, for Karen Scott submitted her embroidered bees, a time-consuming craft that has now been immortalised in film. She has beautifully illustrated her journey in its incompleteness, foregrounding the story over the finished article.

Hannah Ng treated the visitor to a geometric collage of 3D triangles, while Caroline Corby showcased her design expertise. The accompanying footage offered an insight to the fashion shoot, an exciting collaborative event that can be set up, filmed and completed in a short space of time.

Tomo and Andy Wolfenden decorated one of the outside walls with murals in their respective take on graffiti art.

The overall result was a collection of small-in-scope projects that could be delivered in an hour or thereabouts, and fitted oddly well together in the space.

To answer the question of whether quality is affected by length of time, the exhibition demonstrated that fixed time certainly limited the complexity of the finished pieces. Yet, that this limit imposed a purity on the final article, lending it a more pragmatic dynamic.