20/06/2009 - 26/07/2009
Union Gallery is delighted to present a new body of work by British artist Mike Marshall.
In this exhibition, Marshall shows a combination of video and photographic works revealing scenarios and forces that interconnect in ways which cannot be entirely predicted or controlled, while at the same time exploring the potential for individual engagement within them. This engagement may simply be that of abandonment and pleasure, such as when swimming in the sea we might give ourselves up to the movement of the water so that it moves us, or as when watching the physical effects of wind as it moves the leaves and branches of trees.
The video installation Volume and Frequency (2009) shows a distant group of surfers patiently waiting for a wave, interspersed with images of trees in movement. Filmed in black and white, with carefully timed intervals of intense colour, the transition from one shot to another suggests a passing of propellant forces between scenarios, whilst a soundtrack employing the musical language of suspense constructs a balance between languid relaxation and anticipatory tension.
In the large scale photograph Flood Plain (2009) an arrangement of pot-plants sit amidst a vast expanse of scorched, cracked earth. Purchased from a garden centre in India, these plants were photographed and then left behind to presumably wilt, die and possibly be swept away towards a distant sea.
The forces under scrutiny in Marshall’s work are as global as they are local. His work appears to function as a kind of intermediary, where movements suggestive of growth and dissolution pass through and continue on towards some indefinable future. Through its careful testing of the limits of involvement with such processes his work raises questions of personal agency and the ability to truly know the outcome of any action.