Darkness Reflected - Exhibition Review

22, February, 2017

Darkness Reflected

An exhibition by Chris Partridge & George Logan

I experienced a whole array of emotions while viewing this exhibition. It was moving, challenging, discomforting, stimulating and thought provoking. Consisting of paintings, sculpture, poetry, photography and film there is a lot to see which warrants time to wander, question personal response and make time to speak with the artists.

There are of course personal and political aspects to this work. In 2015 Chris Partridge experienced distressing changes and deterioration to her eyesight resulting in a series of scans and tests to determine the cause. While fear of potential loss of sight was foremost in her mind, finding ways to process feelings and make sense of the experience led her to this whole new body of work.

Based on original eye scans the art work takes on surreal abstract shapes. Paintings invite us to look but not touch as the surface is literally barred by interwoven barbed wire tinged with red paint. Barbed wire is also formed into small complex sculptural pieces which are both beautiful and unsettling to look at.

George Logan a photographer and film maker deals with a different aspect of vision, ‘eyes as windows to the soul’ with particular emphasis on the experience of First World War soldiers, Black Watch Regiment. George presents a series of photographs showing just one eye of individual soldiers. It’s uncomfortable to look directly at these images. Some are grainy, others staring wide open, some with eyes half closed. It’s difficult to imagine what these soldiers witnessed and what horrors they stored away. However as we in turn witness the soldiers it’s hard to imagine we will easily forget them.

Advances in neuroscience now offer great insight to the impact of trauma on the brain, mind and body and the long term effects that bearing witness to horror creates. While these images force us to question historical impact of war they also expose us to our current world situation and horrors still witnessed on a daily basis.

Darkness Reflected, a video, is a main focus point of the exhibition reflecting states of mind and physical journeys. It is a beautiful and engaging piece of work for two artists collaborating for the first time. Clever manipulation of recordings made within a hospital adds an eerie, surreal atmosphere to the projected images of ancient woodland and fleeting human presence.

Chris and George have amassed quite a body of research here with work that is engaging, methodical and well presented and have indeed found insight and light in the darkest places. I recommend this exhibition.

Pauline McGee

Visual Artist

All images and content Copyright © Chris Partridge