Anna McDowell, Becky Allen, Emilie Pugh
The Ancient Greeks defined time in two parts, Chronos and Kairos, the former referring to time as objective and sequential. The latter on the other hand represents the aspect of time that is subjective, the etymology of the word “Kairos” relating to the “opportune moment” in the art of weaving when one chooses to pass the shuttle through the loom. Hence, at its root this concept of time is tied to the act of making. Psychoanalyst and writer Esther Dreifuss-Kattan defines “Kairos time” in relation to creativity as,
The Greek concept of time as due measure, representing fulfilled time in the timeless atmosphere of the creative encounter itself…Kairos describes the exact moment, the perfect timing of an interpretation or an insight, measuring the fulfilment of time.
This qualitative characteristic of time is the common thread that brings this collective together. Becky Allen’s drawing and printmaking replicates and investigates different forms of antiquated workmanship in labour and form. Emilie Pugh is concerned with the metaphysical, creating works which reflect upon that which is felt rather than seen through burning paper, drawing and installation. Anna McDowell’s multidisciplinary practice addresses time in relation to trauma, memory and other facets of the psychological experience.
All three artists engage in lengthy processes both as catharsis and meditation. The practice of drawing is a focus, together with a binding preoccupation with the power and meaning of that which has been laboured and crafted over a long period. Intensive stretches in this mode of making can lead to sensations Freud described as “Oceanic” - spiritual experiences outside the order of chronological or “Chronos” time.
In a period when the experience of the image is multitudinous, surface-bound and often short-lived, it is the artists’ hope that their work together will manifest towards an exhibition that invites a spirit of introspection and stillness.
In September 2019 Allen, Pugh and McDowell will come together for one week in a rural location to begin work on a collaborative piece of work which will be left outside to respond to and be altered by the elements for a number of months. Alongside the artwork itself, documentation of it’s making will be displayed in the form of photographs or a film. Their forthcoming show will include works developed over the coming year whilst maintaining a constant dialogue in relation to Kairos
The exhibition is set for 2020 at Arthouse1 Gallery, London. Exact dates tbc.