Garry Barker II

Garry Barker is an artist who responds to what people are talking to him about; he tries to reflect people’s concerns. Recent conversations have been centred on how reading choices are becoming converted into assumed political positions by computer algorithms. He has been making drawings in a library looking for connections between books he finds and books he is looking for, these images both track the looking and reflect the possible future consequences of a process once personal now political.

Mark Elmore II

“The Telescreens of Oceania saw from all sides but showed just one. The multiscreens of right now hone this concept to a sharp edge and present it as complete.

What is photographed here are the surfaces of screens throughout our society but the subject of the work is the life that each purports to give to its viewer who sits somewhere far away and in the future. Poorly defined or crystal clear, always falling short of genuine experience. How much is lost?

Today you are pitted against columns of engineers trained in the intricacies and failings of your mind, determined, their only goal to retain you for one more half hour, to keep your thumb scrolling on.”

                                                                          Mark Elmore September 2019

Glenn Ibbitson: Hiding within Plain Sight

“Winston” and “Julia” both watercolour on A2 size paper

crypsis   /ˈkrip-səs
noun: the ability of an organism to conceal itself especially from a predator by having a colour,
pattern, and shape that allows it to blend into the surrounding environment

Though 2019 marks the 70th anniversary year of the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, it’s central concept remains, ominously, as relevant as ever. How is the artist/ dissident to express unpalatable truths and criticisms of contemporary society and the state apparatus whilst still being able to function as one of its citizens; free from official persecution?  When I first read this masterwork as a teenager, it did seem as if western society at least, had insured itself against the risks underlined through its pages. Now it seems that perverse humanity has collectively snatched defeat from the jaws of what was perhaps in retrospect a mirage of victory. My own body of work since the turn of the century has alluded to different facets of the struggle for the individual’s voice to be heard within an unsympathetic kultur.
This series of moth paintings is an attempt to find an imagery which might encapsulate these related concepts. To marry ideas of surreptitious discourse with techniques of crypsis. Employing this mechanism, the dissident may give voice to his or her ideas publicly, rather than merely in secret, by appearing to be saying one thing, but smuggling through a subtext under this surface cover to conveying a quite different meaning.
The visual deceptions observed in the structure, patterning and coloration common to most members in the moth families provided me with visual material to use as metaphor for operating under the radar; fully functioning in plain view, yet hidden from all but the closest scrutiny. An inversion on the idea of sleight of hand; this time, not by leading the eye away from the real subject, but rather fooling it into overlooking or misreading evidence presented to the eye.
However, as Winston Smith discovers to his cost, that repressive state against which he wages his personal war, is equally adept at employing the same strategies. The small piece of raised bark on that tree trunk, the lichen on that stone wall, the peeling paint on the window frame; even the bird dropping on that nettle leaf. Watching.. Through each day, wherever we are, our movements are being monitored by small pairs of eyes camouflagedunder the cloak of a sophisticated crypsis. The state too, is hidden in plain sight; monitoring our tracks through actual and cyberspace…