15 September – 14 November 1999
IDYLL is Matthew Tickle’s second exhibition for Matt’s Gallery. Choosing again to use gallery one, he has taken a radically different approach to the space with this new work. In 1995 he directed the audience’s attention to one corner of the gallery by the placement and lighting of a single object, thereby accentuating the vast depth of the space. With IDYLL he has altered the visitor’s perception of the building as a simple container by introducing a repeated structural element. The 63 columns placed throughout the room oblige the visitor to negotiate a space which is no longer defined by the white cube of the gallery.
On entering the gallery, the visitor is confronted with a mass of columns which have been placed to imitate the natural growth of trees within a dense woodland - each is made to the proportions of the two concrete pillars supporting the ceiling. The work becomes animated as the visitor wanders around the columns. Reaching the light - initially only glimpsed at - they sense the vastness of the space and the landscape as it extends beyond the windows. Tickle’s considered and subtle dispersal of the columns significantly changes the feeling of the space, the light and its volume. His decision to remove the lighting system further emphasises the work’s relationship/connection to the landscape beyond the window. As the work is lit purely by the daylight entering the gallery from the series of windows along the rear wall, the atmosphere will fluctuate hour by hour, day by day and month by month, gradually becoming darker and more uncomfortable. After sunset two floodlights, mounted on the exterior of the building, illuminate the towpath and the canal beneath the windows.
Tickle not only succeeds in accentuating the height of the room by constructing the columns to reach above the beams to the ceiling, but also in slowly revealing the depth of the space and the landscape beyond as the visitor is drawn to negotiate a route through the densely positioned columns to the natural light in the clearing. The progression/journey from darkness to light, from a constricted space to an open vista, takes the visitor from a wooded landscape - evocative of a scene from a fairytale, subconscious fears or heroic adventures - and returns them to the familiar urban high-rise, mirroring the perpendicular forms of the installation.
Further exhibitions at Matt’s Gallery
Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle and Phillip Warnell
Hyper Passive, In Camera, Shock
7 September – 2 October 2005
What the eye can't see the heart can't grieve for
8 February – 21 March 2004
Queen Mary University of London, Mile End
18 – 22 November 1998
21 June – 13 August 1995