6:30 - 8:30pm, Thursday 27th Oct
Opening & Performance
Seven Artist Group Show - Absence Makes the Heart
Artists: Hamish Chapman, Frances Drayson, Michael Ho, Motoko Ishibashi, Francisca Sosa Lopez, Jack O'Brien, willowfuck
'A few years ago, while in the Netherlands, he visited the Mauritshuis and met with a friend who worked there, an art conservator and Rembrandt expert. Walking through the collection, they approached a portrait. Slightly unassuming, this canvas sat in a quiet room, tucked away from the celebrity paintings: The Goldfinch, The Girl with a Pearl Earring, to name two. In this modest painting—if a gilded canvas can be modest—a male figure was shown standing alone, visible from the midriff up, with a golden beard and a sombre facial expression. Wearing an armoured breastplate and holding a spear in one hand, with his body weight shifted to one side, he thought this character held himself like a boxer. The depicted figure was surrounded by an aged brown background, which she pointed out, explaining that it would have originally been red. Like an old blood stain, or the way gold turns green, the vitality of this vermillion has faded into a soiled, murky hue.
He found himself drawn to the top right hand corner of the painting, an unnameable intuition compelling him to stare into this blank space. Noticing his attention to this specific area, she explained that there used to be a large crest painted in this gap: a point of controversy for many scholars. This crest had been yellow, large, and dominated this area of the painting, complete with decorative weaponry and illustrations of native Dutch birds. After scientific testing in the conservation department, it was proved that this had been a later addition, with the records revealing it was actually made by the past owner of the painting. This owner had decided to add his family crest, seeking to embellish his status and secure the legacy of his family name. The conservator painted over the crest.'