Suzanne Moxhay and Geoff Diego Litherland
Saturday 24 November 2012 - Saturday 12 January 2013
Suzanne Moxhay, from the series Penumbra, 2012
Geoff Diego Litherland, Onward As The World Sinks, 2012
In the aftermath of the London Olympics where Danny Boyle presented an opening show inspired by this ‘green and pleasant land’, BEARSPACE presents ‘The Aftermath,’ an exhibition of new work by artists Suzanne Moxhay and Geoff Diego Litherland, who capture their visions of familiar yet otherworldly lands framed like film sets.
Both artists work by combining found imagery with their own images - Moxhay builds complex montages which fuse found photographs from mid century travel magazines with her own photography, this series ‘Penumbra’ was largely inspired by exploring the edgelands of London, where small patches of wilderness encroach on the man made environment, creating strange juxtapositions of the natural and urban. Litherland is a painter who appropriates 18th Century painting by displacing it into science fiction fantasy scenescapes. In both cases the artists create lands which are at once recognisable and imagined, creating a strange sense of deja vu.
Litherland’s work explores the tension between the natural world and its grasping appropriation by human influence. It draws from traditional genres of painting together with the antiquated surrealism of science fiction and the fantasia of abstraction to create a parallel world that seeks to not only to question our relationship to nature, but also of the role of painting as a historical and contemporary tool to understanding perception of nature.
Moxhay’s photographs stimulate a real sense of depth, the result of building three dimensional glass structures to collage on to and finally photograph through. This distortion of photographic imagery is a theme carried through her current work, through the restless reprocessing of found imagery, creating subverted environments that become detached from the photographic, and that inevitably exist in a space between documentative and staged photography. There is a suggestion of narrative, of an event having just occured or about to happen in these marginal spaces.
The heightened panoramic views created in both artists’ recent work recall the cinematic wide shot, suggesting that they could be taken from the establishing or closing sequence of a film. There is a deliberate play on the scale and depth of each element, which appears to hover between the miniature and the epic.
The worlds depicted in the work reference film genre iconography, such as the Western, Sci Fi and Horror. I find parallels between the world of the National Geographic Magazine and other such publications, and the fictionalised worlds depicted in film.
Moxhay studied at the Royal Academy Schools, later becoming a Print Fellow at the Royal Academy and appearing on the BBC Culture Show. Moxhay has shown widely including ‘The Future Can Wait’ (2011), The Royal Academy Summer Show (2011, 2012) and the Jerwood space. Litherland recently concluded his MFA at Goldsmiths College and was recently awarded the Saatchi Showdown prize, also showing at the John Moores Painting Prize (2012).