Hung by John Wragg, this room is alive with David Remfry’s watercolours of youthful figures savouring the pleasures of Late Night Dancing. But Wragg’s own paintings, displayed nearby, could hardly be more different. He shows isolated young women in stark, freely brushed interiors, and his works have melancholy titles like Blue, Stray and Falling Flowers. These lonely figures seem either unable or unwilling to benefit from the companionable high spirits in Remfry’s work.
Installation view of Gallery IV, Summer Exhibition 2001. Photo: John Bodkin/DawkinsColour
The sadness so detectable in Wragg’s paintings can also be found in one of two inkjet prints by Boyd and Evans showing Clee Hill. This deserted landscape in Shropshire was made even more bleak by the unusually glacial winter of 2010–11. The bare blocks rising like minimal sculpture in the middle of this scene chime well with Ann Christopher’s impressive set of eight interlinked images called Marks on the Edge of Space, in which elongated and curving forms seem to emerge from water, hang down over fields and project upwards into space. Natural growth is suggested, but also the dynamic force of aeroplanes in flight.
Christopher’s sculpture is equally eloquent, and other sculptors play a forceful role in the middle of this room. John Maine’s powerful work Definition in Five Stages ranges polygonal granite forms along a white base. And David Nash displays a severed tree trunk, pierced with burnt holes and hollowed out so that we can peer right through its blackened interior.