Anna Barriball’s practice focuses on everyday objects and often steps between the parallel languages of drawing and sculpture. She deals with contrasting ideas such as surface and depth, positive and negative, intention and accident.
This exhibition presents works on paper alongside a series of new videos inspired by the colouring techniques used in early cinema.
The seven videos are shown on floor-based monitors and represent the culmination of a number of moving image pieces made by the artist over the last two years. They show shadows and reflections, exploring the effects of both natural and artificial light. Each video is tinted a different colour, inspired by silent films’ use of tinting to convey certain moods or lighting effects. Some of the images appear almost abstract, a result of the artist taking photographs through windows at night in an unlit building. Here Barriball is interested in the surprise and reveal of the image; what the lens automatically picks up. Sometimes it is the dust on a windowpane, at other times the vague picture of a world beyond the window, or simply the reflection of the camera flash. The images are turned into negative and edited together, sometimes following in rapid succession or melting into each other.
Barriball’s works on paper are explorations of commonplace architectural surfaces; Double Door with Moon and Fluorescent Orange is a drawing of a set of domestic double doors, Window with Fluorescent Orange was made on the window of the artist’s studio. These drawings are coloured on the back in fluorescent paint, they appear to hover in their frames, the intense glow gives them a feeling of imminence. The drawings Windows with Water and Ink and Night Window I – VI have been created by placing paper on textured glass, which has been covered in black ink and then bathing the paper in a solution of water and ink. This process, (a little like the one used to develop photographs with chemicals) leaves behind a strangely photographic trace of the original patterned glass.
Also on show are two pieces that use acoustic tiles as their starting point. Here paper was placed over each tile and punctured with a pencil through the corresponding pattern of holes. By repeatedly drawing through the holes in this way marks have accumulated on the paper like notation. Placed in a grid the drawings are like barriers to the passage of sound, silently containing the action, rhythm and noise of their making.
Anna Barriball was born in Plymouth in 1972; she studied at Winchester School of Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design. Barriball has had recent solo exhibitions at: Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2013), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2012) and Milton Keynes Gallery (2011).