F O U N D – Exhibition at Walsall Art Gallery

I visited Walsall Art Gallery this week and the exhibition, F O U N D, really stood out to me. F O U N D brings together work from seven different contemporary artists. They all work with found images.

Julie Cockburn

Cockburn works with found images from the 1940’s and embroiders onto them to create something new and truly exciting. She states that, ‘I never engage with a blank canvas. Rather, I enter into the pre-existing conversations present in strangers’ photographs…and begin playing with an experimental and personal visual language. The photos are all very posed and the sticking adds something dynamic and eye catching to the existing photograph. The stiching, although dynamic, is very precise and delicate. The images appear futuristic however the hand stitching that she executes to produce this work is going out of fashion. This is an affective use of juxtaposition.

Eric Kessel – In almost every picture 13

Kessel worked with found images that people normally discard. He managed to turn these into art. They were all images where an accidental finger was covering a fraction of the image. When looking at these large prints in a gallery setting the feeling you get is that they are beautiful mistakes. Yes, people might discard them but in some ways they show more truth and a better recollection of the actual day and the actual memory.

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John Stezaker – The marriage series

Stezaker used images from the 1950’s where he put 2 images together which created a sinister look like they were morphed together like a surgeon would. He used a man and a woman and keeps the historical context on them which preserves authenticity. He still managed to keep the characters of each other the people used but merged them together to create a paired character also.

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