08 February 2011

Altered images

Yesterday evening saw the pretty much packed launch of new art show Reflexive Landscapes & Cutting Machines by Bruce Thompson at the Beggars Bush bar on Beech Road in Chorlton. Before we go any further, I'd better come clean: Bruce is my friend and lodger. He feeds my cats and I don't want to get on the wrong side of him.

Nonetheless, I show no bias when I advise you to check out the exhibition over the next month or so. Treat yourself to a drink while you're there. Go on. Here's the exhibition poster, influenced by Bruce's interest in decorative screens:

The works on display, however, are each an image in themselves and the show encompasses two series Bruce has been working on over the last few years. I was already familiar with Reflexive Landscapes, a colourful, dynamic oeuvre (did I just say "oeuvre"? Ha!), with more than a few sci-fi threads. The pieces from the Cutting Machines series, however, were new to me, and I really enjoyed their pared-down compositions, subtle cream and garlic pink shades, and rich textures.

Bruce has studied both art and architecture, and was working on very fine airbrush automatic abstract paintings when I first met him a number of years ago. In his latest work, he reconsiders these spontaneous pieces by rendering them using a computer-based 3D modelling package, and adding more colour, light and depth. This second stage is then further transformed by manipulating points of view and fragmenting and recombining elements of the original canvas to produce a totally new image.

Says Bruce: "This body of work is concerned with the unconscious mind in relation to space and perception, expressed through art and architecture. The work can be viewed as a departure point from painting and a move towards a cybernetic, pataphysical and alchemical world."

Unsure what pataphysics are, I consulted Wikipedia and discovered that it's a pseudophilosophy that parodies modern science often through the use of nonsensical language. Well, if it's good enough for Bruce and French author Raymond Queneau, it's good enough for me...

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