Peter J. Evans: FEEDBACKER: WORKPLACE GATESHEAD

22 November - 20 December 2008

Peter J. Evans’ work across sculpture, installation, drawing and performance is unified by a continued exploration of systems, maps and patterns. His multifarious artworks respond directly to the relationships between the micro and the macro, the tangible and the intangible. They articulate a strong conviction in aesthetic beauty and invoke memory, landscape and exploration. Evans’ choice of materials – unfinished wood, pencil on delicately lined graph paper – give a sense of the amateur scientist navigating the world with precision and wonder, attempting to grasp the universe beyond one’s reach.

Waveformer is a large floor-based construction, geometrically composed with a highly polished herringbone Parquet surface. Re-worked as a standalone structure for Workplace Gallery Waveformer hovers above the floor of the decaying building as the space is reinvented to become a gallery. Waveformer is an object that specifically refers to the conventional and historical interior of museums and their role as purveyors of cultural knowledge. The common architectural details of such buildings become signals that give power to specific objects placed within their walls. As such the architecture itself becomes didactic, an instrument of power.

Evans’ works on paper are formed by the repetition of taut linear graphite marks built up over time into complex, visually intense structures and surfaces that in some works become seemingly impermeable matter. Insubstantiality is only revealed through the occasional rupturing of the paper through an overworking of the graphite surface. For his exhibition at Workplace Gallery Evans displays a comprehensive collection of drawings on a large scale. Each drawing reads ambiguously as an abstracted topography delineating temporal and aesthetic concepts of trace-memory and beauty.

Alongside these large-scale works the rest of the 3-storey gallery is explored through Evans’ wider practice: A site responsive wall drawing employing a Japanese ink-line process is imposed onto the faceted architecture of one of the building’s domestic scale Victorian attic spaces. A series of videos of early performances is screened in the ground floor video space and the subtle installation What We Can’t See Influences Beyond Our Reach, fills one of two first floor rooms inviting us to contemplate the relationship a meticulous drawing has with the space around it. The adjacent space acts as the setting for Our Understanding Of Things (II), an action that will take place on Saturday 13th December during which Evans will work a block of lime wood, the same height, width and depth as the artist, into dust with an electric planer. The shrill scream of the planer harmonises with an amplified composition constructed out of samples of the planer itself and pure sine waves, enabling dissonance to find resolution.

This is Evans’ first solo show for Workplace Gallery and is the culmination of a touring exhibition that originated at Spacex, Exeter and was the presented at Seventeen, London. Recent exhibitions and projects include a residency at Pickled Arts Centre, Beijing, a solo exhibition at Allenheads Contemporary Arts Centre, and group shows at Henry Moore Institute, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Kiasma, Helsinki and at The Drawing Room, London.

Peter J. Evans was born in 1976, in Oxford. He lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK