In 1943 Paul Nash returned to Avebury with his partner Margaret, to find that the place had changed. Since a previous visit nearly ten years prior, attention had been given to restoring avenues and circles of ancient stones, some of which had long lain where they fell, slowly covered by enveloping soil and grass. The study above is most likely from this trip (though documentation seems incomplete), whereby Nash collected negatives from both the rough mystery of Avebury and the polished myth of nearby Stonehenge. Nash of course wasn’t interested in recording the object, but rather exploring the contours of both it’s shape and ‘personality’. It has been said that the light in England is never strong enough to define the edges of things sharply, so their very nature is undefinable by the line, and its character must be captured rather than its shape. But maybe this is a universal function of art. In this issue we present the work of Hernan Ardila (Colombia 1964), Hans de Wit (Netherlands 1952) and Jamie Reid (UK 1947) - three very different artists, united in their interest in the essence of the thing, and in the life forces they conjure from their work with base materials.
Hernan Ardila’s practice involves recognition, positioning and aligning, a sensitivity to the slippage point between magnetic forces, when objects are in precise relationship to each other, a balance of mass, matter and mana. We spoke with Ardila from his studio in Barcelona, and are also extremely pleased to present an exclusive short film of the artist at work in his studio.
Hans de Wit’s extraordinary drawings have long mesmerised, not only by their narratives and skill of execution but by the very sound they produce, a thrumming Ur sound from millennial distance. The sequence of drawings we showcase in Issue Three were produced in rapid succession as an adjunct to de Wit’s large scale works for which he is well known and widely exhibited.
And Jamie Reid needs little introduction as the visual mediator of punk, but less is known for the rest of the tale, which is at least as fascinating as the known myth. Born into a family of Druids, brother to a man who would have been tried for treason had his identity been uncovered, watcher of the stars and civil rights activist, Reid’s locus is close to the intersection of Bertrand Russell and John Michel - a fellow Romantic like Penny Rimbaud, forever looking forward.
We’re also extremely please to announce the commission of a diptych of beautifully measured and composed colour prints by Hernan Ardila which are currently available exclusively here but will also be on show with us with further work at the London Art Fair in January, alongside a sculptural installation by Martin Erik Andersen (DK) and a specially commissioned wall drawing by Fabrice Cazenave (FR). These prints are printed by K2 of London and available in editions of twenty, with three AP’s. You can find more information about these beautiful pieces here.