Exhibition: 30th October to 5th December 2009
Maddox Arts is pleased to present the first UK Gallery solo exhibition of acclaimed artist Nick Veasey. The exhibition will combine new and recent works as well as celebrating the publication of X-Ray, a full-length catalogue of his work to date.
All pieces in the exhibition utilise X-rays. The works shown, many of which are special commissions for the gallery space, are divided between exquisitely detailed large format Diasec X-ray photographs and installations. The installations feature objects that emanate from fascinatingly detailed X-ray light boxes.
The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus of Abdera believed that all bodies threw off images in their own like, these subtle emanations striking on our bodily organs gave rise to our sensations. His concepts inspired Lucretius, who further formulated the ideas to produce his own philosophy, properly explained in his ‘On the Nature of the Universe’, whereby he gave an account of the Universe in terms of atomic physics. In the beginning of book four, Lucretius expanded on the forms, effigies, membranes and films that to him were the nearest representatives of the term Democritus applied to these emanations; they are shed from the surfaces of all solids, as a bark is shed by trees.
These visible films, membranes and shadows of objects, Lucretius believed, have no real existence set apart and separate from the solids and perish instantly when withdrawn. Lucretius concluded: ‘All nature as it is in itself, consists of two things: there are bodies and there is void in which these bodies are and through which they move’. It is at this point when the images produced by Nick Veasey might be connected to the ideas of Lucretius, as Veasey recreates visually that liminal void in which things seem to be trapped..
Veasey has developed works for the exhibition that explore several intriguing areas:
* The importance placed on external appearance and identity in relation to and contrast with, the internal anatomy of the body.
* Both the similarities and diversities of the human form and the relation to the shared common experiences and emotions of the interior world of our personalities, psyches, mindsets, souls.
* The ways in which nature generates and employs internal structure to create external beauty.
* The opportunities for man to be inspired by normally invisible organic forms.
* Mankind’s fascination, intrigue and repulsion by the process of bodily death and decay and his unhealthy prediliction with impending self-destruction, particularly by nuclear or ecological means. Can man simply be reduced to a dualistic “Ghost in the Machine’.
Veasey uses equipment designed to investigate for cancer and search for bombs to create art of outstanding beauty and complexity. The work is produced in a challenging and dangerous environment where he often uses high levels of radiation to capture these ethereal compositions. Fifteen years experimentation with X-ray has created a rare talent to peel open objects to reveal startling layers of wonder . The invisible becomes visible. By revealing what goes on inside and stripping away familiar surface detailing, Veasey’s works make us question the basic values of form and function.
These X ray’s by Nick Veasey challenge our discernment regarding a number of issues such as exactitude, physicality, beauty and sublimity. But, perhaps the final pursuit in Veasey’s images departs – or concludes – from the assumption that our complex material reality cannot be described by standard visual conventions.