VIEWS FROM THE CLOUD CHAMBER
08/05/21 - 12/06/21
Rory Prout's paintings are made with oil paint on wooden panels, but also with ash, chalk, gesso, wax and resin. They are an effort to reinvent the painting medium for the artist, in order to try and understand it, to define some part of it.
That definitive part that Prout comes back to is the trace of an absent subject; the indexical sign normally associated with photography. Painting, however, is a self-indulgent activity and the traces it fixes are always those of the painter. Prout distils this aspect of painting by resisting it, by trying to shed all signs of the painter’s hand so that it is all the more evident when it does inevitably show. Digital design, mechanical processes and an effort to maintain control of unstable materials are all part of this attempt to depict themes in the paintings that are analogies to absent subjects and to indexical traces suspended in a medium.
Structures abandoned in landscapes, objects that indicate missing figures, optical effects manifested by the shadow of their viewer, and the tracks of atomic particles left in vapour are among the images in these works.
To hear more about the work listen to In Conversation below, an informal chat with the artist Rory Prout and Director of Project 78 Patrick Jones.