24th September – 22nd October 2020
Our first foray into online exhibitions will be hosted on the Artsy platform and will be live from 10am on Thursday 24th September 2020 at the following link – https://www.artsy.net/show/peacock-visual-arts-open-wide
Over the course of the month we will be showcasing 17 works in total with 9 on the initial launch, followed by 4 for the next 2 weeks.
The title for this exhibition is lifted from Sister Corita’s 1964 screen print of the same title. A work that blends faith, political rhetoric and consumer culture into a word picture. Exemplifying the remarkable vision of an artist who helped define the vernacular landscape of mid-century Los Angeles. Her love of words were born from her theological mindset and personal belief in their power. These booming riddles were made visible through the medium of art. Text became the main component of Corita’s practise, she pushed the medium until word became image.
Sister Mary Corita Kent began making prints in the early 1950s, stepping outside the walls of her orthodox learnings into a world that was less defined and full of risk. Her choice of artistic medium she described as thus – “I’m a printmaker…a very democratic form, since it enables me to produce a quantity of original art for those who cannot afford to purchase high-priced art.”
Kenny Hunter arrived at Peacock in 2006 after a recent residency in New York. He brought with him a store of stories to be told through print. In the years leading up to his visit, Peacock had established itself as a publisher of fine art prints and honed its reputation through highly specialised practise, especially so in the field of screen printing. This medium was chosen by Hunter to translate the tales of a city, by visually stacking letters one on top of the other, to mimic the great concrete piles of Manhattan. The text itself is a mixture of Baudelaire, Goethe, Marx and Yates, literary giants, whose words visually reverberate. Each syllable as carefully placed as the bricks of the buildings, to describe the resulting transience of temporary occupancy, allegorically.
Kenny Hunter’s – Things Fall Apart All Over Again – was a turning point for our studio. A simple one colour print, originally priced at a modest £50. Hunter chose screen printing for the same reasons Sister Corita did. I can still hear the voices of disbelief resonating around the building. We had invested years of perfecting the medium with prints of many colours and prices that matched their craft. This initial discord was quickly replaced by the enlightened position, of seeing and fully understanding an artistic vision through the immediate object that we had just helped make. Publishing at Peacock has always been defined by our collaborating artists. Hunter updated us on a system of values that had maybe become lost in the studio’s determined pursuit of excellence. An economy can find harmony in both the visual and the financial – less is sometimes more.
All the selected works are screen prints. And all works follow on from Hunter’s word pictures of 2006. Each subsequent artist used text in different ways. And all placed text within the rectangle for the viewer to read or dismiss.
Kerbel’s words are a sophisticated stream of consciousness that majestically arch before their sudden fall. Bellingham’s scribed planets are both playful and disarmingly simple. Reminiscent of the work of one of Sister Corita’s greatest contemporaries, Paul Rand. Myles owns his idiosyncratic style of printing, stripping the medium back, one stencil and two hits of colour. The text stencil forms the window that in turn allows the brilliant neon to flood through and illuminate. Chang, Clark and Johnstone’s words are crafted from the love of their sound. The Brownlee Brothers from their love of the folkloric. And finally full circle to Finlay’s rewilding timelines. An artist whose strong roots are embedded in the concrete poetry movement. This influence also permeates through Hunter’s work and encourages a continual investigation of all materials, that in turn supports the concept of text as a functional object in our environment.
David McCracken 2020.