2—29 April 2009
In the Gallery Café
Gruiformes is an exhibition of recent prints by Simon Lawson, a response to the ever changing skyline that creates the backdrop to the city.
Simon Lawson, Battersea Cranes. Photoetching with Spit Bite
Cranes inhabit the environment. When unmanned they remain unlocked, free-moving so as to withstand the elements. In their world, independent from human existence, they befriend or alienate one another and play out a dance in counterpoint to the silhouette of structures reflected in the river, itself a paradigm for social and economic change.
Lawson captures this behaviour using etching in its many forms, often subverting the traditional with contemporary processes. Digital forms co-exist with aqueous painterly forms, perhaps the sky or the Thames itself. The confident, gesture filled monoprints sit comfortably next to small delicately executed observations in sugarlift. The monochrome is on occasion enhanced with abstract coloured paper forms.
His dramatic reflections of contemporary London contain an undeniable memory of the industrial heritage of his upbringing in Grimsby and its docklands. The energy and drama witnessed there and his fascination of James McNeil Whistler's observations of urban redevelopement in his Sixteen Etchings of the Thames and other Subjects are never far from the surface. A landscape artist in the traditional sense without pastiche or imitation.