Fiona Crisp and Jennet Thomas

at Matt's Gallery


Fiona Crisp, Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle

A series of eight large-scale photographic works that will be shown for the first time in the installation Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle.

Generated at the National Trust site of Stourhead (Wiltshire, UK) in 2006, the images eschew any desire to document a specific location; instead, the historic house at Stourhead, along with it’s world famous 18th century landscape gardens, are employed by Crisp as a formal device to reflect upon the colliding imperatives of heritage, leisure and history at a site of national cultural significance.

Implicit are questions concerning the democratising of cultural assets or the space between the public and private sphere but ideas are also articulated through a formal visual language where tensions are set up between proximity and distance, between the flat plane of the photograph and the perspectival depth of landscape or between revealing and obscuring a ‘view’.

Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle will be Crisp’s third exhibition for Matt’s Gallery and continues her exploration of what, in phenomenological terms, a photograph is: What is it capable of? Here the equivocal identity of Crisp’s work persists as glazed and framed photographs are removed from the plane of the gallery wall to be sited on single scaffolding poles creating a new, provisional architecture of the gallery interior.



SCHOOL OF CHANGE comprises narrative film, installation and continuous live performance. Moving across the space the viewer passes through an expansive sculptural installation in which motifs from the film are played out, giant diagrammatic stick figures in the warning colours of yellow and black preside over a lone schoolgirl inhabiting the spilled out cinematic world.

SCHOOL OF CHANGE, Thomas’ second exhibition for Matt’s Gallery, is a celebratory, complex critique of fears and desires for radical change, speculating on the future of technology, the marketisation of education, the weirdness of Physics and crisis: financial and ontological. Inspired by traditions of absurd British satire, and with original music by composer Leo Chadburn (AKA Simon Bookish), the film’s playful strangeness delights in disruptive editing, choreographed movements, unusual special effects and songs, colliding the everyday location of the artist’s former school, with an extraordinary, skewed logic.

Matt’s Gallery

Opening Times
Preview: Sunday 17 June, 2-5pm

20 June - 29 July 2012
Wednesday to Sunday, 12-6pm

Matt's Gallery
4244 Copperfield Road
E3 4RR