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The Arca Project at PayneShurvell
March 16, 2017
An exhibition inspired by the work of W.G. Sebald
The best artists don’t create new worlds, but shed a new light on the one we already inhabit. The best artists notice the little, seemingly insignificant things we might not and present them to us through whichever medium they choose; be that writing, composing or creating prints. But even more so, the best artists often draw inspiration from other artists. Art inspires art.
The Arca Project is an exhibition consisting of sixteen visual and sixteen textual responses to one single image. Each response has been realised as a limited-edition print, developed and made by Invisible Print Studio.
The Project draws its inspiration from the cult writer W.G. Sebald, more specifically his extraordinary book The Rings of Saturn, a book which transcends genre. In 1992, while he walked down the coast from Lowestoft to Ditchingham, taking in Southwold, Dunwich and Walberswick, he was overcome with his surroundings. His unique observations of the world and people around him provoked a deeply psychological book which dips in and out of history. His walk created a strange new literary compound, one of memoir, fiction, travelogue, history, and biography.
W.G Sebald took his walk along the coast and used it as a catalyst to spur on a wide range of ideas and conversations. In the same way, The Arca Project uses that single image, gives it to sixteen international artists and sixteen writers and asks them to interpret the image (the only limitation was the uniform paper orientation and size). Each writer and artist’s interpretations are extraordinary and psychologically evocative, but essentially false interpretations. The idea is to have artists and writers in a Sebaldian mix of fact and fiction, documentary and reality.
Artists and writers involved in the project include Andrew Bick, Craig Burnett, Andrew Curtis, Karen Engle, Adam Fish, Emma Fraser, Lindsey Freeman, Graeme Gilloch, Steph Goodger, Oona Grimes, Tony Grisoni, Catherine Haines, Michael Hall, Molly Jarboe, Jaeho Kang, Naiza Khan, Jane Kilby, Abigail Lane, Richard Makin, Bob Matthews, Bruce McLean, Ana Milenkovic, Simon Patterson, Tony Plant, Daniel Rapley, Fabio La Rocca, Julian Rowe, Martina Schmid, Steven Scott, Allen Shelton, Erik Steinskog and Jo Stockham.
The Arca Project is curated by Michael Hall and Graeme Gilloch and will be presented by PayneShurvell. The exhibition will run from the 1st April to the 7th May 2017 at PayneShurvellSuffolk: Ashfield, Stowmarket, IP14 6LU. For more details visit: payneshurvell.com
Words by Elle Magill