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after / glow - new work by Martin Newth. The Gallery at the Arts Institute, Bournemouth. 02/04/01 -  23/5/01

From: Matthew Thomas
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 25 April 2001


After / glow is an exhibition of new photographic and video based works by Martin Newth and the latest in a continuing programme of contemporary Art events at the gallery, the Arts Institute at Bournemouth.

Condensing long periods of time into single photographic images, Newth explores light, time and notions of memory and experience using a combination of hand built cameras and domestic sets.

To make ‘Crisis of reason’ the artist constructed two identical and adjoining life size rooms from cardboard, which function as a giant camera obscura. Lining one of the back walls with photosensitive paper, the artist’s intention was to make ‘a self-reflexive space which photographs itself’. The resulting images use a strong play of light and shadow to describe several coexisting layers of space infused with a mood of quiet solitude.

Continuing with the theme of domestic spaces, "8 hours" is a record of the artist sleeping. A bed in a sparsely decorated room is viewed in a claustrophobic half-light. The sleeping artist appears only as a faint ghostly disturbance in the sheets and the comforting familiarity of domesticity is overwhelmed by a feeling of imprisonment in a restless sleep.

"4 days" is a series of photographs recording, over 96 hours, the slow wilt of bouquets of cut flowers. Exquisitely beautiful, these images recall the unreal quality of Dutch 17th century flower paintings and are tinged with a sadness of their own lingering degeneration.

On similar ground is "Notonoroff". A series of video pieces in which Newth has recorded the image and sound present during the brief dying moment when a TV set is switched off. These strange televisual bi-products, slowed down and looped back and forth, are stabilised in a pulsating state, somewhere between on and off.

After / glow runs from 2 april to 23 may 2001. Martin Newth will be exhibiting further works in TWILIGHT at Standpoint Gallery, London, from 26th April – 10th .

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