Coleman Project Space is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Martin Gayford. Comprising recent graphite drawings and new paintings, ‘Oneironautics’ marks a shift in the lives of these two parallel series, in different directions. The minimal reduction of one offers a stark counterpoint to the expressive generation of the other. Both involve the movement of familiar forms in and out of the representational territories we associate them with.
The title of the exhibition is an esoteric term that describes the act of consciously travelling through a dream. As in the unconscious realm, the structures and objects Gayford presents us with are purposely ambiguous and endlessly scalable. Buildings might just as easily be models; calligraphic motifs fridge magnets or gargantuan sign writing. This is in reference to the visual architecture and narrative dynamics of a recurring personal dream from the artist’s childhood.
Gayford’s drawings have evolved some way from their Modernist cityscape origins. While we are still in the land of grids and glassy material surfaces, each implies the sense of an axis shift. The bodies of buildings have lost their structural weight and horizontal bearing, appearing like elegantly faded and paradoxically monumental bundles of pick-up sticks – the essence of a photograph abstracted over time by light.
The series of small-scale paintings, meanwhile, speak of relationships with other surfaces. Gayford works simultaneously at different scales and these works bear the fruit of moments discovered during the manufacture of larger experiments in the studio. The compositions of variable marks and forms in play bring to mind the testbed nature of the textile sampler, if with the potential to de- and re-materialize canvas-to-canvas.
Martin Gayford, born in Barnet, London, now lives and works in Lewes and London. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic and Winchester School of Art. His recent solo exhibitions include; ‘Start Of / End Of’, Star Brewery Gallery, Lewes, 2020 and ‘A Year of Drawings’, Stable Studio, Lewes, 2019. Group exhibitions include: ‘Real Time” curated by appleandhat.com for Coleman Project Space, 2020; ‘To Paint the Gloom Itself’, Terrace Gallery, London, 2020; ‘States of Disruption’, MIR Project Space, London, 2019 and ‘Six Days in December’, Thames Side Studios, London, 2019.
Oneironautics | Press Release