Superabundant: A Celebration of Pattern to Open at Turner Contemporary

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Superabundant: A Celebration of Pattern to Open at Turner Contemporary
Jacob Dahlgren, Heaven is a place on earth, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm 2006. Courtesy Bonniers Konstall © the artist.

KENT.- Superabundant is an exhibition that creates a sense of celebration, of joy and delight through the power of pattern. The exhibition features work by nine artists who make use of pattern and decoration in very different ways, some adopting a systems approach to pattern whilst others are more fluid and organic. For this exhibition, many of the artists have created new and sometimes site specific work especially for the Turner Contemporary Project Space.

Richard Woods uses traditional woodblock printmaking techniques to make graphic imitations of building materials and textures. He has made two ambitious new site specific works for the exhibition: re-brand transforms the exterior of the Project Space from a faded town centre premises on Margate High Street into an explosively colourful facade while inside, flat stack sculpture creates a dizzying illusion of 3-dimensional depth on the exhibition space floor. Jacqui Poncelet has also created a new site specific work, using the building's internal structure to create a 'forest' of pillars wrapped with complex patterns on paper showing figures free-falling through space. She has also covered part of the pillars in red and white hazard warning tape, a material that appears again in Paul Moss's Danger Paintings made by painstakingly wrapping, cutting and overlaying tape around a frame.

Two sculptures by Jacob Dahlgren combine a nod to the history of twentieth-century abstract art with a playful interest in the patterns created by large numbers of mass-produced objects, in this case a pathway of 450 Ikea bathroom scales and a maze of over 600 supermarket food cans. Wim Delvoye is inspired by the decorative art of an earlier age. In Marble Floor, pieces of salami and other cold meats are carefully cut and assembled by hand to create a pattern reminiscent of an Arabic tiled floor.

Repetition as the basis of making is to the fore in Lesley Halliwell's hypnotic new drawing Fanatic (4500 minutes), made with a child's Spirograph set. Closer inspection reveals the mistakes and imperfections that occur as the ink runs out or the paper slips, while the title of the work reveals the time taken to produce it. This tension between control and chaos is taken a stage further in Jim Drain's new sculpture Hex - a carefully hand-crafted and willful riot of materials, colour and pattern which stands over nine feet tall.

Collage techniques form the basis of Henna Nadeem's photo-collages in which hand-cut paper patterns based on Islamic designs are superimposed onto found pictures of sunsets. The new series of works created for this exhibition, partly inspired by Turner's paintings of sunsets and his connection with Margate, shows Nadeem working on a much larger scale than previously attempted. Paintings and a new wall drawing by Daniel Sturgis show another approach to working with stencils. Sturgis's geometrical paintings, made using hand-cut templates, that are reused or recombined, conceal a deliberate 'wonkiness', with elements placed off-centre and shapes expanding beyond the edge of the frame, invited the viewer to re-configure the image in their own mind.

Pattern can dominate our reading of work but all of the works in Superabundant, whilst relying on pattern for their visual impact, have other perhaps more subtle meanings contained within them.

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