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Catalogue available with essay by David Sweet
PIP DICKENS -
A solo exhibition of paintings from the SHIBUSA series and recent works based on the Screen.
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, 29 June -
The paintings in this series draw upon many different references to the screen. The notion of the screen is a fascinating one. A screen can be used to hide or obscure. It can be both a divider and a marker of space. A screen can be a decorative element, such as the traditional three panel screens found in Japan, or can be projected upon, such as a cinema screen.
The idea of the screen in terms of the marking and dividing of space, the layering or projection of images and the obscuring of detail, relates to Pip's work in many ways.
The most significant references are a fusion of Pip's previous research into Japanese
culture, specifically that of looking at kimonos and katagami stencils, and secondly
that of traditional film technology, in particular acknowledging what Pip feels to
be a golden age of film: 'Glorious Technicolor', Todd-
Pip is very interested in the use of colour, pattern and bright colours in Japanese kimonos, often applied through colour staining ('yuzen') or by utilizing stencils to press colour through. These stencils also protect, screen, or mask through the use of a resist paste, allowing the rest of the fabric to be coloured, or decorated, leaving the masked area clear of these additional embellishments.
The distinctive films of the Technicolor age are distinguished by their intense colour and luminosity, for example the films 'Carousel' and 'Oklahoma!' (both of which have influenced paintings Pip has produced for this exhibition) and 'Gone With the Wind'.
Both of these references represent highly skilled technologies within their own genre. Both, however, are dwindling. In terms of Japanese kimonos, the market is mired in a slump and very few young artisans can dedicate the time (often 10 years) to apprentice themselves to a master craftsman.
Similarly, the film industry is poised at a threshold of transference to digital technology. In The Telegraph in May 2011, an article reported an announcement from the Hollywood film industry that, by the end of 2013, celluloid film would cease to be used, unless championed by those directors who can afford, and insist upon, using it for its innate qualities.
The paintings in this exhibition reveal specific, yet shared, characteristics of film and Japanese textiles focusing on intense colour saturation, overlaying of pattern and colour, folds, luminosity, light and shadow and that of masking (as with the Japanese stencil, in film technology masking/editing and cutting are common techniques).
Installation images of ‘SCREEN’ exhibition. © Pip Dickens
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