7 - 23 April 2022, The NewBridge Project: Project Space, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Degrees of Freedom reconsiders home, domesticity and labour: from the external environments we inhabit to the psychological structures that shape our experiences. The physical spaces we generate are affected by our state of mind, and our state of mind is in turn affected by the environments we encounter. These internal and external worlds can fluctuate between comfort and fear; calmness and isolation; influenced by perceptible and imperceptible forces beyond our control.
This exhibition of painting and video installation work is the first collaboration between visual artists Jill Tate and Matt Denham. Developed over 16 months, the work manifests in dramatically illuminated, stark and minimal interiors born of terracotta and concrete: materials with mixed connotations of earth and architecture, wellness and work. Through the manipulation of scale and a feedback of forms, the work explores the different psychological dimensions of our environments.
Matt Denham is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. From the line between perception and reality understood by persons living with Alzheimer's disease, to experiences of transitional spaces in institutional and domestic settings, his research led practice explores the in between spaces – physical, virtual and psychological – that mediate our lived experiences.
Working across video, installation and photography, his work unfolds in minimalist surreal environments, constructed from basic construction materials, domestic items and strategically placed panels. His hypothetical narratives examine the complex intersections of autobiographical memory, account, fact and fiction. Characters start off as trustworthy, but as their subjective mediation of events unfolds, this fine, changeable line unravels in front of the outsider over time, while the characters remain oblivious.
Jill Tate is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She often returns to the theme of home, regarding it as both a physical and psychological structure permeating all levels of experience. The place we call home can feel like a sanctuary or a prison, whether it is made of bricks or brain cells, and this dichotomy is an undercurrent in the sparsely furnished domestic environments that she portrays.
Each painting begins as a scale model, which is lit and photographed to produce reference images. Working primarily in oils, she uses earth colours to evoke the literal and metaphysical ground from which everything arises and returns. Light plays a crucial role in the work, illuminating form and offering hope through the darkness.
With thanks to project supporter: