Lydia Gifford
Grounding Series, Art Statements, Art Basel
15 Jun 2011 – 19 Jun 2011

“The installations put forward a kind of visual dissolve, structuring an experience of space, arrangements turn vision inwards, into the expanse of the imagination and the daydream, bodiless.” 1

Lydia Gifford’s (b.1979, UK) work situates itself on the boundaries of completion. The work grows out from an activity of application, removal, insertion, incision, placement and replacement. This activity – a kind of silent choreography- underpins ones reading of the work. There is a specific painterly quality in which painterly decisions take on volume and find position. Gifford makes work about the making, revealing the process, her presence. Works retain the traces of previous movements, a mark that remains, a pigment pile left over, what came before and what might happen next. The work exists at a point of a very delicate permeability between interior and exterior, studio and world.

Gifford asks questions about which of her actions hold their own, what can stay. There is a fine balance between impulse and action, implicit is a tension. Attributes of pace, pause and pursuit course through Gifford’s work, directing the viewer in the experience of a site removed and abstracted from the world, but referring directly to it and the minds passage through it.

“A library of nuance from my private studio activity is taken to a public site to manifest a portrait of a particular kind of tension.” 2

Marginal gestures direct intimate changes of register where chance elements are claimed and responded to. There are movements, stops, shifts and transitions, all present – sometimes literally, in the painting. Accepting the potential of doubt to communicate, a landscape emerges from a structure and arrangement of erasure and trace. Here, ‘landscape’ as atmosphere or mood that has absorbed texture, colour and slight weight, precariously attached to a place, held in the memory.

1 Lydia Gifford, 2010
2 Lydia Gifford, 2010

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