Please join us and the artist to celebrate the opening of this exhibition on Saturday 8 September, 1-3pm.
Present Tense reveals a documentarian’s eye for the events that shape us, and a deeply felt empathy towards people passing through our lives.
Ackland’s latest works represent her own observations of the world - a blend of global, public events from the news and the comings and goings of her own daily life - a man playing bagpipes in a tunnel, the discarded remains of ride-share bicycles abandoned on the street. As a suite of works they offer a glimpse into the quiet reception of the everyday, interspersed with pivotal events from world politics.
Margaret Ackland: Speaking in ‘present tense’
An artist’s studio is always insightful and a useful stepping-off point for any exploration of their practice. Margaret Ackland’s, like her work, is contradictory. The black-and-white-squared lino floor brings a sense of order and fixity to a scene that otherwise appears in dramatic flux. There are some small paintings of silvery dresses in flight, as if animated by ghostly spirits, against dark backgrounds – agitated but somehow benign; an elegant still life with a pair of lady’s dress gloves draped over the frame, perhaps painted under this persona; and a number of doubled Rorschach portraits in watercolour from 2014, twinned and uncanny, that prompted the artist’s current pursuit.