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Simon Linington: In Circles

27th June to 1st August 2014

“When a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle. I did my best to go in a circle hoping to go in a straight line.” - Samuel Beckett

The work of Simon Linington is dominated by an exploration of two main preoccupations: The Artist and The Studio. In his practice Simon stages interactions and interventions, often performed repetitively by himself or upon himself or his studio space. These are designed to detach his consciousness from the act of making. The process becomes a mantra or a mediative act. 

For In Circles, Simon presents work across a variety of media. Central to the exhibition are two standing sculptures, Circles 1 & 2, created by dragging his left side anti-clockwise around columns of clay. Over a number of hours Simon’s hair, face, boiler-suit, hands and boots were dragged across the surface of the clay, wearing it down. Through this process he has created a unique and intimate self-portrait of the artist in his studio. The resulting shapes have been cast in white jesmonite and installed in the gallery in the same positions in which they were originally placed in his studio. These beautiful low reliefs invite us to consider the contours created by Simon's body in relation to our own. 

Every aspect of the act of making is considered and documented in Simon's work. The sculpted figures of Circles 1 & 2 are presented alongside “paintings” made by stitching together cotton studio rags that have been used to wipe clay and dirt from the artist's face and body, as well as to clean the space around him. Nearby is Souvenir, a glass tube containing layers of different-coloured dust, reminiscent of Victorian sand vials. The layers comprise six months’ worth of sweepings and scrapings collected from Simon’s studio floor and walls, which have been broken down and sieved to a fine powder, then divided and organised by colour before being poured in sections into the glass tube.

With In Circles Simon Linington has created a space, both physical and conceptual, in which the act of creating is exposed for us – in which we get a rare insight into the artist’s relationship with both his work and the place in which it is made. We are presented with action, reaction, repetition and development; a cyclical process within which the artist hopes to find a straight line.