Viewing Stations: new work by Edward Chell
Tank Gallery, South East London
Private View: 10th November 6.30-9.30pm
Exhibition: 11th-26th November 2011
In this solo exhibition, Edward Chell investigates the landscape and flora of the motorway verge, exploring ideas about place, time and travel through oil paintings, customised road signage, digital prints and painted works on gesso panels.
The Viewing Station, described by the Rev William Gilpin in his British tour guides of the 1780s, was a precise location from which tourists could contemplate landscapes that conformed to the picturesque ideal of beauty. Gilpin’s guides, coinciding with the construction of new roads and development of commerce, fuelled the growth of tourism, encouraging people to visit areas of Britain previously regarded as wildernesses; non-places, devoid of aesthetic value.
‘Viewing Stations’ reconfigures the idea of a still place at the roadside from which a view is contemplated. Today’s countryside has been cultivated to the extent that uncontrolled wilderness only springs up in the margins of our road and rail networks and the semi-derelict grid plans of industrialised corridors. Chell draws out the complexities and contradictions involved in our encounters with contemporary wilderness spaces, developing imaginative links between the macro-world of signs, travel and commerce and the micro-landscapes of the Edgeland environments immediately adjacent.
These Edgelands invite a new kind of tourist, new ways of looking and new forms of visual representation. This project evokes the complex nature of our responses as we move through and around these fluid spaces. This is the very landscape we access by car, pollute and litter, and, through our car window, call a kind of home.
Edward Chell is represented by Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf. His recent projects include ‘Gran Tourismo’ at Little Chef Ings, supported by Grizedale Arts, and work commissioned by Stour Valley Arts, Kent and The Swedenborg Society, supported by Arts Council England.
Chell is co-editing a book about motorway environments In The Company of Ghosts; the Poetics of the Motorway, to be published by erbacce-press next spring. Contributors include Iain Sinclair, Clio Barnard, Joe Moran, Cornford & Cross and Dr Malcolm Andrews. There will be a launch and reading at The Poetry Library on London’s South Bank.
For images and further details please see http://www.edwardchell.com/
Gallery open: Wed – Fri, 3 – 6pm; Sat & Sun, 1 – 6pm,
and by appointment (admission free)