Past Events

Mike marshall
12 April – 31 May 2007




Understatement and the beauty in the ordinary are constant elements in Mike Marshall’s art: examining aspects of our surroundings that might normally be overlooked and finding within them wonder and interest. Marshall’s work explores the potential of video, photography and sound to drive sustained, intense and vital levels of engagement with the immediate world around us. Focusing in on places, situations and aspects of experience often merely passed by or only half noticed, Marshall uses his chosen media to carefully take apart and re-assemble his subject matter, finding both interest and an often beguiling intensity within what he terms ‘the background noise of life’.

The artist himself describes his most recent work: “The Thunder and Lightning is a video installation showing a tropical storm filmed from a veranda. Only the lightning itself illuminates the scene, which is thus revealed in sudden fragments. Between these brief moments only a grey shifting darkness remains, and we await the next flash of exposure. Often the camera appears to have moved, one strike revealing a large tropical blossom, another tree-top silhouettes, while another catches the camera panning and searching across blurred undergrowth. The soundtrack matches this level of intensity and immersion, the sound of torrential rain feels like it inundates the gallery itself while the thunderclaps seem to affect the body directly, giving the work an unsettling physicality. In another video work, A Train Passes Through Trees, we watch as light flickers across the interior of a train carriage. Cutting to the view outside the train window, a lush tropical landscape moves past, increasingly dissolving into a mesmerising abstract pattern of pulsating colour. This work takes the familiar hypnotic situation of simply being on a train and gazing at the passing landscape, and amplifies it to an almost hallucinogenic level. In one way it appears to celebrate the romance and wonder of an exotic journey, but at the same time its dream-like quality also questions how much we can ever really become involved with the places that we might pass through.“

Similarly, Marshall's photographic works are of scenes that appear to be found along the way without any predefining motive. From densely filled areas of vegetation to distant islands, these images attempt to go beyond just the recording of events and places, encouraging a sensory participation from the viewer and placing emphasis on the ways that we respond to and perceive the world around us.

Marshall (b 1967) lives and works in London. He has had several solo exhibitions in the UK and regularly exhibits internationally. He is about to complete a PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmith

College, London and was a recent Fine Art Scholar at the British School in Rome.

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