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Too Invisible a Narrative

Downstairs Chesney has a 3 screen video making a loud roaring sea sound. On the left a lighthouse, in the centre an arrow shape, on the right a buoy with flashing light, seen at various times of day and night. It makes an impression, the dangers at sea, the immense power of the sea is evoked.
Upstairs she has acres of pencil graphs and screenprints of data that make my heart sink. They are about deforestation and sea levels.
Stawarska-Beavan shows paintings of places, complex images in greens or browns. She has a desk with a map of Zanzibar and cleverly projected video of the sea on the page of a book. The projector is secreted within the desk lamp. I got so interested in how this was done that the why escaped me.
Himid shows an old dressing table with paintings inside the drawers. It is unusual but the meanings again were uncertain. On the stairs she showed a very small painting on zinc of the sea, placed subtly and easily missed, and an abstract painting of rough coloured overlapping lines.
I have heard curator Lubiana Himid speak interestingly on past projects about images of black people. I found the book provided about her fascinating.
However, although this show is intriguing up to a point, it’s an inconclusive foggy point leaving me all at sea as to whether or not these works say anything in particular when exhibited together.

Mary Fletcher

Invisible Narratives – new conversations about time and place. 23rd March to 15th June 2019 at Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall.

Volume 33 no 6 July/August 2019 p 34

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