Approved: 02.11.2007

Chris Pickup

Artist, Project manager, Consultant, Teacher

Approved: 02.11.2007

The work is about reality; it explores how we perceive it, experience it, understand it and ignore it. The subject matter I choose are the surfaces we see every day of our waking lives: concrete, wood, metal, peeling paint; this reality we all experience but, on a minute by minute basis, choose to ignore. These surfaces are initially sourced through photography of real surfaces in real places. As the

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  • Location: Nottingham, East Midlands
  • Activities: Secondary education, Art historical research, Private commissions, Visual arts consultancy, Project management, Photographic documentation
 

Biography

The work is about reality; it explores how we perceive it, experience it, understand it and ignore it. The subject matter I choose are the surfaces we see every day of our waking lives: concrete, wood, metal, peeling paint; this reality we all experience but, on a minute by minute basis, choose to ignore. These surfaces are initially sourced through photography of real surfaces in real places. As the artist, when I find a surface I wish to photograph, I experience that surface as an utter reality. However, from the point at which the shutter clicks, to the point at which you the audience experience the work, that reality is manipulated as an illusion. I will often collect a sample or artefact to try to bring you closer to the reality that I experienced, but to what extent does that fragment, isolated from its context, evoke a reality for you? Each work represents a frozen moment, a freeze frame of our mundane experience. Initially this is done with the camera. But to freeze a reality an illusion has to be created, in this case a photograph, which is subject to manipulation. To enhance the sense of reality a three dimensional work is created from the photographic material, through clay modelling, casting and paint effects, but this process manipulates the illusion further. I then provide presentations of samples or artefacts collected from the real sites. These items have undeniable reality but are out of context, like shards of pottery in an archaeological museum. They are touchstones of reality but cannot recreate it. The completed wall mounted bas relief works hang in a netherworld between painting and sculpture. Although the surface is highly sculptural their visual power is almost entirely dominated by the use of paint; this paint being sprayed, applied by brush and as a pre dried laminate. Their visual presence suggests the portrayal of reality yet through the manipulation of the motifs of wood, metal, concrete and paint and the application of a firm geometrical composition, the approach to their creation is more akin to that of abstraction. With or without the accompaniment of displayed found material, the exhibition viewer is invited into a space where the constant flow of reality is suspended and yet tiny excerpts of it are represented. Your experience of reality is made more intense through the medium of illusion. In an age where reality is televisual or virtual, how much of your reality reaches you through the medium of illusion and do you know where the boundaries are?

CV & Education

Solo exhibitions 2008 - Seed of a City, Imagine a City... by Mantle Arts, Odeon Arcade, Leicester 2007 - INMATES: Site responsive installation and accompanying publication, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield 2005 - Chronological Marks, Amberhouse Gallery, Tideswell, Derbyshire 2005 - Chronological Marks, Draycott Festival, Derbyshire 2004 - Chronological Marks, Flying Goose Gallery, Nottingham 2004 - Chronological Marks, Wirksworth Festival, Derbyshire Group exhibitions 2011 - Crocus Birthday Exhibition, Crocus Gallery , Nottingham 2011 - Midlands Open 2011, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington 2010 - Crocus Open , Crocus Gallery, Nottingham 2010 - CUBE Open, CUBE Gallery Manchester, Manchester 2010 - Group Exhibition, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington 2010 - Tarpey Open, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington Corporate commissions 2012 - Descent to Aviation, City University London, Graduate School Library Centre 2011 - Shortlisting for £15000 commission , Stourbridge College, West Midlands 2006 - Urban Surface, Geldards LLP, Nottingham 2004 - Colourfield: 2.5 metre wide architectural panel, AMK Design, Plumtree, Nottingham 2004 - Three Henges, AMK Design, Plumtree, Nottingham Projects 2010 - Research Collaboration, University of Nottingham School of History, Nottingham Site specific 2012 - rEvive, Empty shop unit, Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire 2011 - Shortlisting for a Cultural Olympiad event, Exlab, Jurassic Coast, Dorset 2007 - Urban Journeys, collaborative project with artist Mike Bowdidge, Red Gallery, Hull 2006 - Urban Surface, Shop Window Installation, Open Festival 2006, Nottingham Other 2011 - Voted Artist of the Month, J Gallery, Northampton