28 February – 14 April 2019
Private view: 28 February, 6.30pm
I found what I was looking for and tidied it up a bit. It’s a description of a dream I had probably this time last year, maybe before.
I write them down in my sketchbook/notebook – it’s the same thing – and have done since I was 19. I don’t write all of them down, just the memorable or interesting ones. I remember discussing this one with my psychoanalyst. I think I was on the beach on the Isle of Wight or maybe in the Karoo desert, South Africa. My analyst says that when we dream of a place we are in fact dreaming about a person and our relationship to that person.
This show has a lot to do with this dream.
So to be clear, it’s not a story, it’s a dream written down and the sparseness and silence described is very typical of my dreams. In truth there is often little difference between the two.
I am alone in this place. It is empty and flat and the ground looks like sand but it is hard and does not move under my feet. There are evenly spread hundreds of round stones never larger than a fist. I think I can make out the familiar white luminance of water on the horizon, but I cannot hear the sea. The sky is bright blue, but I cannot find the sun. Nothing moves. There are no people, or animals, or birds. It doesn’t look like there’s anything to do here and I walk around without knowing how far I must go. I pick up a red-ish brown stone, turn it around in my hand and put it down on the ground again. It makes a hollow sounding noise. I do this a few times. When I find my way back, I will remember this place and I what I did here, that I really did nothing at all.
I’m not sure about the word luminance. Technically it’s correct but I think glow sounds more like something I would say.
Hope this helps,
Simon Linington’s practice explores, through a range of media, ideas of personal and collective memory and the artists role within and without society. In his early career much of his work stemmed from performative actions, setting himself Sisyphean tasks – such as dragging heavy sheet steel up the many stairs to his studio, rolling a ball of clay equal to his own weight between his studio and the exhibition space, or walking round and round a column of clay for hours and days, wearing his own impression into it – allowing him to detach his mind from that making process in an effort to be a purer conduit of the artistic experience. These tasks or actions would often result in an object or material trace which are kept and presented as memories of these events. At the same time, he began to collect, categorise and store the material debris of all of his studio and performative activities, and even of past artworks broken down. This vast archive of sifted and sorted detritus now forms the bedrock of his continuing practice and will appear in various forms within his installations and spacial interventions; whether in the form of a bucket of dirty water mopped from his studio floor, rags used to clean himself and the studio stitched together into tapestries, or sorted sand and dust presented in test tubes or specimen jars evoking the memory of seaside sand samples. It is at these moments when there is an intersection between personal, collective and trace memory that Linington’s work resonates most clearly.
Linington has said of his practice:
“Every child on the Isle of Wight has filled a glass tube or bottle with coloured sand from the cliffs at Alum Bay. It is an early memory that we all share, and one of the first school trips I can remember.
These souvenirs were introduced at about the same time that people began making postcards, illustrations of places on the Island, using the same coloured sand. The Victorians weren’t the first to make sand paintings, the Tibetans had been doing it for thousands of years, but no one had kept and sold them before. My early encounters with these objects, made with the material of the place for which they illustrated, made a lasting impression. Ever since, the two things, material and place have been inseparable. The fact that my grandfather was a photographer whose images were printed on the many postcards sold in local gift shops, had very little to do with this idea at the time, but as the years have passed I now think it was inevitable that I should have an instinct to express and document my relationship with my environment through images and later objects. This is something I have always tried to do, whether it be at my studio in London, or in South Africa, Sao Paulo, Morocco and Spain, all countries I have visited for residencies and exhibitions.”
William Benington Gallery is a specialist contemporary sculpture gallery, owned and run by George Marsh and Laura Mingozzi-Marsh.
In November 2017 we opened WBG London Projects. Inspired by artist-run project spaces, over a period of a year and a half we will be presenting ten exhibitions by sculptors or installation artists. These installations will feature developmental or experimental work and works-in-progress, or premiere new, untried work.