…On Paper
Includes the following artists: Deborah Bell, Eileen Cooper RA, Margaret Hunter, William Kentridge, Simon Lewty, Bridget Macdonald, Will Maclean, Lino Mannocci, Jack Milroy, Hughie O’Donoghue
Exhibition 27 January ­ 19 February 2004
Main Gallery


In this selection of powerful works on paper by ten artists, an underlying consciousness relates to something meaningful which has taken place to fire the artists’ imaginations. A loose theme deals with aspects of memory, and evocative figurative work creates a distinct sense of narrative.

Lewty and Milroy have taken the book as a form to be transformed. Milroy splays out crisp white pages to look like a fan and cuts black silhouetted figures that dance through the pages in a brilliant construction of balance and weightlessness. Lewty examines a sketched arm and a leg from a late nineteenth century notebook given to him by Maclean. This he enlarges onto a new surface of his own, adding his inimitable poetic text to create works of beauty and curiosity.

The poetry of Ted Hughes and Basil Bunting has inspired two exquisite charcoal and pastel drawings by Macdonald. Kentridge’s Zeno’s Writing photo gravure drypoints are based on the character in Italo Svevo’s 1920 novel The Confessions of Zen, and captivating images range from the caged panther to running profiles of first world war soldiers. Macleans’s collaged works also look back, to instruction slides from naval colleges used between the wars for training in how to launch torpedo boats.

O’Donoghue has been working on a great body of work inspired by his father's experiences during the second world war, and his sumptuously rich carborundum print Residue, follows his Postcard from Milan series. Related to the torso in Residue is a remarkable new painting on paper in which the horizontal figure swims or sleeps merging into striated matter.

Cooper’s major drawing followed the death of her mother last year. She recalls the art of Giotto to contemplate a symbolic journey and to lament the loss, and for quiet different motives, Mannocci also draws on Florentine Renaissance art to inform themes within his own contemporary practice.

Further works by all artists are available on request.