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Deep Looking Exhibition

A catalogue to accompany an exhibition at The Lightbox, Woking, 5th - 24th March 2024.

A catalogue to accompany an exhibition at The Lightbox, Woking, 5th - 24th March 2024.

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Consuelo Simpson<br />

Dawn Langley<br />

Janet McWilliam<br />

<strong>Deep</strong><br />

<strong>Looking</strong>


<strong>Deep</strong><br />

<strong>Looking</strong><br />

1


The title of the exhibition draws on an intended<br />

interaction between artist and materials, and between<br />

viewer and artwork. The show aims to highlight our<br />

shared lived experience encouraging the viewer to pause<br />

and consider what might be a curious juxtaposition or an<br />

unusual viewpoint.<br />

We know from research that the brain goes through<br />

changes when viewing art, human beings are adept at<br />

discerning pattern and shape and deriving some kind<br />

of sense from them. We are interested in the notion of<br />

embodied creativity where the artworks draw you in and<br />

elicit a physical response.<br />

We see this as appropriate for the Lightbox because it<br />

is embedded in collaborative interaction. We want our<br />

audience to spend time, to dwell and enjoy a process<br />

of slow and deep looking. The works draw on shared<br />

contemporary themes but also evoke a sense of play and<br />

exploration, something we hope our viewers will share.<br />

2


Consuelo Simpson<br />

I enjoy the ongoing dialogue with the materials<br />

as the work develops, always aware of the weight<br />

and texture of the matter in my hands. I work<br />

intuitively, responding to what is happening in<br />

front of me. I focus on the process of making as<br />

a way of understanding, as thinking takes place<br />

alongside making, hands and body responding<br />

to materials.<br />

‘Things become, as does our knowledge of<br />

them.’ (Ingold:2017:13)<br />

I am as interested in the creativity of the making<br />

process as in the outcome. The opportunity<br />

for transformation is always present. When a<br />

piece of work is on show in an exhibition or<br />

resting in the studio, this is merely a pause in the<br />

making. I often revisit, revise, dismantle work and<br />

incorporate some of the elements and materials<br />

into new works. Alongside made objects, I<br />

incorporate carefully chosen found objects in my<br />

practice. These may be old tools or repurposed<br />

materials which I love for the history they hold.<br />

They are witnesses to the past, showing signs of<br />

wear and care, carrying the imprint of previous<br />

owners, a direct link to people whose stories may<br />

never otherwise be told.<br />

3


I construct assemblages to celebrate lost stories and<br />

to give objects an imagined future. Working in series<br />

and with repetition allows for small variations and<br />

adjustments, each new iteration developing from<br />

previous ones. The gradual, incremental transformation<br />

becomes part of the narrative, part of the story of the<br />

network that binds us together through time and space.<br />

The connection with both past and future, through<br />

objects, materials and skills, feels potent and vibrant. It<br />

is here that I look for moments of contentment, noticing<br />

flashes of enchantment and reaching an accommodation<br />

with the world around us.<br />

‘Enchantment includes ... a condition of<br />

exhilaration... To be simultaneously transfixed in<br />

wonder and transported by sense, to be both caught<br />

up and carried away’. (Bennett, 2001:13)<br />

4


Dawn Langley<br />

This series of ‘Curious Combinations’ draws on<br />

the painterly tradition of still life. I have been<br />

working on it since 2018 and it has developed out<br />

my concern for our shifting relationships with our<br />

food. In some cultures food seems to have become<br />

just another commodity. We have stopped seeing<br />

its beauty, no longer marvelling at the splendour<br />

of a single egg or a slice of melon. Each of these<br />

photographs represents a personal moment of<br />

quiet attention and wonder.<br />

In combining the photographs with the concertina<br />

books, the historical meets present and possibly<br />

future. The book images are all synthetic, created<br />

using ‘text to image’ and ‘image to image’ prompts<br />

in Midjourney, Runway and Playform. Using my<br />

own images as the prompts I was curious to see<br />

what the machine learning would produce. There<br />

are many issues to consider as a result of the<br />

exponential growth of synthetic images, from the<br />

opportunities it opens up to appropriation but it is<br />

possibly too early to know all the implications.<br />

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6


Janet McWilliam<br />

My recent collection being shown here at the<br />

Lightbox is called the ‘Mop and Roll’ series. The<br />

work intentionally dives into the tangled depths<br />

of history within the domestic setting of home<br />

and of roles and activities undertaken.<br />

I have considered ‘mop’ both as an essential<br />

household tool but also as a focus of still life, the<br />

decorative and the abundance of the mop as a<br />

flower head.<br />

The physicality involved in keeping a home is<br />

further represented by the ‘roll’ aspects within<br />

a number of pieces and portray those activities<br />

which are repeated over and over.<br />

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Unconventional tools have been used to make the<br />

collection. Strips of canvas are dabbed, pressed and<br />

drawn through thick acrylic paint or stretched over rollers<br />

as layers are built up.<br />

The making can be a messy business but I like to<br />

embrace the accidental and the random. For me there<br />

is a need to involve the materials within the making of<br />

the work since of course we are not in isolation and this<br />

perhaps represents the fluidity and layering of life itself.<br />

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Biographies & References<br />

Consuelo Simpson<br />

I am a multi-disciplinary artist working in 2D and<br />

3D, often bringing craft techniques into play. I am<br />

drawn to materials with a long history: paper, string,<br />

textiles and printmaking.<br />

Dawn Langley<br />

I am a mixed media artist, which allows me to<br />

explore my interest in the impact our digital lives<br />

are having on our social and cultural practices.<br />

My influences include 17th century still life<br />

painting, 20th century Abstract Expressionism and<br />

contemporary post-digital art.<br />

Janet McWilliam<br />

I am a contemporary abstract painter. My work<br />

investigates materiality and focuses on content<br />

and storytelling. Chance and control are important<br />

to my practice and I am constantly drawn to<br />

experiment with colour theory as materials and<br />

support come together.<br />

Bennett, J (2001) The Enchantment of Modern Life<br />

Princeton and Woodstock : Princeton University<br />

Press<br />

Ingold, T (2017) Correspondences Available<br />

online at https://knowingfromtheinside.org/files/<br />

correspondences.pdf<br />

9


Consuelo Simpson<br />

Cover<br />

pg.3<br />

pg.4<br />

Telling Tales, 2022, found object, yarns, gilding<br />

Gifts, 2023, size variable, paper, yarn, found<br />

objects, gilding<br />

Cubes (I) 2022, overall size variable, individual<br />

cubes 4.5 x 4.5cm, etchings on Somerset<br />

paper, wire, found objects<br />

p.11 Strands of Life, 2024, graphite, carbon tooling<br />

and gold leaf.<br />

Dawn Langley<br />

pg. 5<br />

pg. 6<br />

Left to right: Egg (& front cover), Pumpkin<br />

(& p.11), Melon, 2018 - 2024, Inkjet on Fine Art<br />

paper, 51x76cm<br />

Rhubarb, 2018, Inkjet on Fine Art paper, 51 x<br />

76cm. Inserts: Egg, Pumpkin, Melon, Rhubarb,<br />

2024, Inkjet on Fine Art paper, 10 x 15cm<br />

Images<br />

Janet McWilliam<br />

pg. 7<br />

pg.8<br />

pg.11<br />

Mops in a Pot I, 2024, Acrylic, 40x40cm<br />

Top left (& cover): Three Mops, 2023, Acrylic,<br />

70x70cm<br />

Top right: Mops in a Pot III, 2024, Acrylic, 40 x<br />

40cm<br />

Bottom left: Marking the Lines, 2024, acrylic, 70<br />

x 70cm<br />

Bottom right: Housecoats I, 2024, acrylic, 70 x<br />

70cm<br />

Mops in a pot II, 2024, Acrylic, 40 x 40cm<br />

10


Contact us<br />

www.consuelosimpson.com<br />

Instagram @ConsueloSimpson<br />

hello@consuelosimpson.com<br />

www.infinitecuriosity.studio<br />

Instagram @dawnl_sketchbook<br />

dawn@alchemy-photography.com<br />

www.janetmcwilliam.co.uk<br />

Instagram @mcwilliam.janet<br />

janetmcwilliamart@gmail.com<br />

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