Work from Mysteries
2011 by James Clarkson
Clarkson looks to explore the relationship between art and the history of design, investigating how dialogue can be created through combining found objects, painting and sculpture. Combining two and three-dimensional work is always interesting, especially when an artist’s style and approach is recognisable instantly through both. Combined, the works become an intriguing exploration into the effect and meaning of space (as in Matt Calderwood’s work, see postcard 284). As Alexander Calder (173) played with the abstracted shape’s space by taking it out of the canvas and suspending it in mid-air, so does Clarkson. On exhibition, his works hang on both the walls and suspended from the ceiling, confronting the viewer, playing as characters – shape, colour and design dancing before us. Certainly a sense of communication is gathered from the scene – as the bird dives, the thickly daubed lines of dense and light pastel sour upward, while green zig-zags with the excitement of reaction. The circular shape, so pleasingly three-dimensional in both its space and sculptural half-moons, then provides a balance – not only to this feeling of expressive energy by hanging so low and quietly, but to the visually collective composition of the painting and sculpture itself. The connected suspensions of the hanging mobile is perhaps why Clarkson’s work has such active communication with itself, these arms and threads hold the objects and sculpture together and apart; painted coloured lines cannot help but be drawn to them. Design, as with Alexander Calder’s mobiles and other pieces, flows throughout Clarkson’s work, carried by lines and dots, together with a hint of nostalgia through the pastel colours.