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DAVID SHILLINGLAW

'EVERYTHING CONNECTED'
Viewing Room 23rd November - 14th December 2021

 

ABOUT

Liminal Gallery is delighted to present 'Everything Connected' an online solo exhibition by David Shillinglaw. Featuring a new series of collages, the exhibition continues the artists exploration of the natural world. In particular mycelium or the 'mushroom internet' , which provides an underground mass branch network allowing trees and plant life to communicate with one another. The collages are a patchwork of paper and fabric, energetically glued and sewn together celebrating imperfections and moments of failure alongside flourishing beauty.

 

The works themselves are constructed from off-cuts and bi-products of previous works, the end of one becomes the starting point for the next as Shillinglaw builds layers creating his own universal language. Paper and fabric are painted, printed, revived and given new life, inspired by the relationship between growth and decay. Each of these new works is a cosmos, a garden, a Frankenstein's monster.

Scroll down to view the artworks and their accompanying texts.

For all purchase enquires please get in touch.

 
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DAVID SHILLINGLAW
SOMETHING IN THE WATER
2021
MIXED MEDIA COLLAGE ON PAPER AND FABRIC
24.6 X 25.6CM
£700 FRAMED

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'SOMETHING IN THE WATER'

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“Something In The Water” is the third and final artwork of the exhibition. While the previous two works have centred around rich blues and greens, the predominant colouring in this work are sunshine yellows and soft pinks, taking the work to a more tropical climate.

We see motifs recognisable from Shillinglaw’s universal language of imagery; rainbows, flowers, raindrops, however here monochromatic atom-like graphics sit behind the colourful overlays. Circles are connected by lines which could well be molecules or the markings of a family tree; a reminder that we are all made from the same stuff, a string of atoms held together, intrinsically connected.

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Shillinglaw’s practice is based upon his sketchbook work, as with many artists, this is a safe place for him to be experimental with his ideas, loose and carefree safe in the knowledge that no one will see the pages apart from himself. This sense of freedom has been recreated with this series, an intuitive practice which has resulted in an exciting new direction.

Referencing quilt making and the use of storytelling through fabric, as well as boro and the mushroom internet, the works are stitched together using a sewing machine, referencing the threadlike structure of mycelium and the intricate way it creates an underground communication channel for all plant life.

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Shillinglaw is no stranger to a sewing machine, having previously used them to bind books at university and creating an incredible series of hanging flags in 2016. However this is the first time he has used the sewing machine as a drawing tool which operates on a functional level – using the zig zag or dotted line to draw with as well as using it as a collage element. The sewing machine also acts as a conceptual tool, physically the work is held together by the sewn line but conceptually everything is connected, through mycelium or our very atoms. The thread that holds everything together.

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This new series of works is centred around the creation, not just creating an image but the very practice itself. Sourcing paper and fabric from past works from his studio, repurposing and building a new narrative through renewed combination. It becomes an object, a quilt, a Frankenstein’s monster; stitched until it takes on a life of it’s own.

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“Something in the Water” feels hopeful, not only forging a new direction for the artist but also hopeful that humans will become more aligned to nature, that our empathy isn’t completely lost.

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DAVID SHILLINGLAW
THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS
2021
MIXED MEDIA COLLAGE ON PAPER AND FABRIC
37 X 28.5CM
SOLD

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS'

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‘The Secret Life of Plants’ is the second in a new series of artworks created exclusively for this exhibition by David Shillinglaw. Each work from the series is inspired by boro, the technique explained previously, and here again we see the artist utilising a number of mediums and attachment techniques to create a narrative within the collaged piece. It appears like a patchwork, a pulsating combination of imagery which the viewer has to crack to devise the narrative. In order to do this, we must spend time with the artwork, savouring each minute detail.

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‘The Secret Life of Plants’ is rich in blues and greens alongside vibrant reds and oranges which gives this a more autumnal landscape. Leaves and foliage change their colouring across the piece, turning crimson only to fall to the floor and be broken down by fungi to replenish the soil and provide a life line to the new plants of spring. The boro, or collage, elements make this piece feel like a growing organism. The very method Shillinglaw uses aids this, sourcing existing works from his studio, cutting, pasting together and combining to create new works. Just when it seems complete, the artist cuts it in half and starts again. This way of working is loose and high energy while the evolution of the artwork springs to life in an organic way as a story emerges through this practical process.

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We see mushrooms motifs at the top of the work, alongside snippets of trees, ferns, branches laden with leaves and plant life flourishing. Alongside this imagery we see a network of lines; zig zags, grids, wavy, diagonal, horizontal, as well as the edges of the collaged pieces and the lines created by sewing machine where they have been stitched together. These lines represent Mycelium, or the Mushroom Internet, which Shillinglaw hints at in the title of the piece. Mycelium is a mass of fungal branching which appears underground, thread-like, and connects the funghi to plants and trees. It can be too small to see or spread across thousands of acres. It forms a super highway of vital information between the natural world, transferring the right nutrients to the right plants to ensure optimal vitality and nutrient density. It also helps detoxify, purify and recycle soil to ensure plants can grow in the most nutrient-rich conditions. It links the natural world as the internet links humanity, at a speed and accuracy that defies man.

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Nature is a cycle of growth, death and rebirth and the interconnected mycelial networks provide an invisible link that creates the conditions for this miracle of living and breathing life to thrive on Earth. ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ is a celebration of all living matter, the seen and unseen, the ripe and the rotten; a celebration of the crisp autumn leaves and the bacteria which breaks it down to return it to the ever revolving cycle of life.

 
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DAVID SHILLINGLAW
EVERYTHING CONNECTED
2021
MIXED MEDIA COLLAGE ON PAPER AND FABRIC
25.5 X 27.7CM
£800 FRAMED

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'EVERYTHING CONNECTED'

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The title piece of the exhibition, ‘Everything Connected’ is an energetic celebration of nature in all its forms – from the detritus of decay to the bountiful blooms. Shillinglaw has utilised a wide variety of media and mediums within this work including painting, screenprint and drawing on a variety of papers and fabrics. The individual pieces have been hand cut and collaged together using glue and a sewing machine. The result is a patchwork of imagery, a visual storytelling using Shillinglaw’s own universal language of imagery.

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This work is influenced by ‘boro’ a Japanese term for patching fabric to create a many-layered material used for warm, practical clothing traditionally by the peasant farming classes. Born from a practicality and cost perspective, the fabric soon came to prominence as a beautiful aesthetic showing the journey of the item, like rings inside a tree trunk. ‘Everything Connected’ reflects the boro aesthetic, with collaged layers sitting one on top of the other, the layering combined to recount a story. In fact, Shillinglaw sourced offcuts from his studio, using new and old work, chopping and combining to create this piece; an artwork reborn from the ashes of the old.

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The collage is rich with blues and greens, punctuated by vivid reds and pinks, like nature intensified. This use of patchworking masks elements, while revealing and highlighting others. Symbols emerge which are universally recognised; a flower, a mushroom, the moon, rain, sea, trees, branches. The cacophony of imagery combined becomes an overwhelming dissection of nature. The high intensity energy reflecting on the high functionality of nature in the micro and macro. The images appear as hieroglyphics, like images scratched into a cave, becoming a language of itself to assist the viewer on an expedition through the world, the cosmos and the artists own mind.  

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There is a sense of composing the space and navigating lines, both the lines which have been cut and the lines created by the sewing machine – some dotted and some zig zagged. The eclectic piece is both how the artist sees and makes sense of the world as well as what is happening in the world. Almost too much for one person to comprehend. And so, we enjoy the simplicity of nature and it’s ever spinning cycle of life and death, growth and decay, the fresh and the rotten- Everything Connected in the way that everything on earth is connected by this beautiful cycle, we are all subject to it and that is the only certain thing in life.

 

PRESS RELEASE

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Liminal Gallery is delighted to present 'Everything Connected' an online solo exhibition by David Shillinglaw. Featuring a new series of collages, the exhibition continues the artists exploration of the natural world. In particular mycelium or the 'mushroom internet' , which provides an underground mass branch network allowing trees and plant life to communicate with one another. The collages are a patchwork of paper and fabric, energetically glued and sewn together celebrating imperfections and moments of failure alongside flourishing beauty.

 

The works themselves are constructed from off-cuts and bi-products of previous works, the end of one becomes the starting point for the next as Shillinglaw builds layers creating his own universal language. Paper and fabric are painted, printed, revived and given new life, inspired by the relationship between growth and decay. Each of these new works is a cosmos, a garden, a Frankenstein's monster.

‘Everything Connected’ forms part of an ongoing series entitled 3 Works For 3 Weeks, an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them. Each exhibition in the series features 3 artworks alongside text, detail images and source material to give an intimate insight. The exhibitions run for just 3 weeks and all invited artists are either national or international, but all are currently working within the UK, to show the breadth and diversity of art available across the country.

 
Each Tuesday at 10am throughout the duration of the exhibition, Liminal Gallery will release a new artwork accompanied by text and detail images onto the dedicated Viewing Room found on www.liminal-gallery.com.