Kate Boucher, Benedicte Emsens and Kate Fahey
26th May – 16th June
Private View Thursday 25th May 2017, 6-9pm
Book essay by Benedict Morrison
Inarticulate Landscapes is an exhibition of three artists looking to landscapes to inspire their work, yet the pieces are not the classical idea. The thread that runs through Bénédicte Emsens, Kate Boucher and Kate Fahey is the essence of the film still. To see these artworks, one senses there is more to the story – the frame just before or just after may illuminate but we have this frame and the still of this landscape remains mysterious. Each of the artist utilise photography or film to create their work and this reinterpretation of another medium, a quick capture converted into alternative materials and establishing a new reality that lies, or perhaps produces a new truth. To intentionally mislead, to cultivate confusion with attractive images that upon scrutiny belie the beauty. Each artist has their chosen material that aids to the obfuscation. Bénédicte Emsens’ oils are applied in a wide variety of consistencies and the strategic use of liquidity constantly brings the viewer back to reality. As we visually travers her environments we fall upon a patch of undeniable paint that is not a place or a dreamscape at all. Kate Boucher uses the richness of charcoal to demonstrate the sudden capture of scenes familiar but unknown, caught in the headlights a sight so memorable yet elusive in the darkness and we doubt we actually saw that. Kate Fahey’s material integrity produces works that are precisely crafted, exquisitely delivered and are in and of themselves beautiful. However, the multiple concerns they embody are mediated realities that we and those who publicise them, wish to deny.
The inarticulate landscape is one that somehow cheats the romance, the perfect sunset manifest by the weight of pollution in the air. These artists know a certain type of truth and that is, that very rarely is something simply what it appears to be, and it is this quality in Emsens, Boucher and Fahey’s works that hold us in the moment as we try to understand but understanding is withheld.
Kate Boucher (b 1972) is a British artist. Her practice crosses between 2D and 3D, using representations of landscape to explore notions of residence, dislocation and precariousness and their relationship with the articulation of grief and emotional repair. She uses disparate media in order to better examine and analyse her preoccupations with the same notions, attempting to find a better expression of these concerns. There is an intention that these works should elicit both a sense of disquiet but also, perversely, comfort, provoking vacillation between dissonant responses without requiring a resolution. She completed a Master of Fine Art at West Dean College in 2016 and a BA in Public Art at Chelsea School of Art UAL in 1994.
Bénédicte Emsens is a multi-disciplined French artist. Starting as a film-maker and photographer, she developed her practice to encompass print making and painting. Her work explores landscapes inspired by film’s stills, photos and memory. Each of her works present a landscape imagined, manifest from another, yet not the former and becoming entirely new and mysterious unto itself. Every sensation is a possible landscape. She completed a Master in Psychology in Belgium, a Master in Anthropology in Paris and a Master in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 2008.
Kate Fahey (b. 1983, Kilkenny) is an artist working with print and installation. Working across the boundaries of print and sculpture, her practice explores the fallibility of mass proliferated, digital images and engages with landscape through contemporary screen based perspectives, such as Google cartography, aerial, satellite and elevated views. At the core of her practice lies a concern for the surface and skin of the image through which she attempts to channel affect and a more embodied type of visuality, positing the surface as a site of mediation, transfer and transformation. Through the haptic nature of the work, Kate Fahey examines humans’ relationship with the digital and seek to connect with and to slow down our experience of images. She received a BA in Fine Art Printmaking from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London.