Snake oil

Snake oil

30th August – 9th September 2017

An exhibition of work by Tom Wilmott and Neill Clements

Snake Oil brings together a group of works which stand on the belief that painting is at its most compelling when it addresses the specific strengths of the medium.

Wilmott and Clements share an interest in the fundamental qualities of painting; for each artist the medium is not a vehicle chosen to best deliver a message, it is itself the project.

Their work puts the unique abilities of the medium front and centre. Painting is first and foremost visual, and it is at its most convincing when engaged with in this way. Colour, form, space, texture, contrast, transparency, opacity, scale; these are the keystones of effective painting.

Presented here are physical objects borne of individual’s intent, this is not art meant to compete with sloganeering, rather it presents an alternative to it. There is no attempt to illustrate some extraneous topical concern; no explicit message.

Constructions of wood, cloth and pigment exist on their own terms, created out of an engagement with painting’s essential processes and from a passion for the medium and its history. In some ways this is an old fashioned approach, art for art’s sake. But nowadays in a climate where, more than ever, culture is being experienced at arm’s length choosing to involve yourself in physical, material concerns (such as those thrown up by the discipline of painting) looks like a sensible undertaking. We live in a soundbite world where much of the visual material encountered is designed to shout. We receive our ideas filtered and packaged; coloured by a promoter’s bias. Visual art is too often the servant of obscure ideas, virtuous or otherwise.

These works make a case for something different, something plain speaking and unmediated. Work created through an interest in materials and how they come together, through a belief that painting still offers something unique; a worthwhile pursuit for an individual but also as an entity that can be meaningfully engaged with by an audience.

Thursday 31st August 2017
6.30-8 pm

Exhibition open:
30th August – 9th September 2017
12-6 pm

Free entry
Step-free access