back to electricbackroom

All art is process. All art is processing and always rising to its end and beyond, always rising into ruin. The obvious analogy is with architecture. In reality and in art, buildings always rise into ruin. Art, along with most things, including all language, fails in the end, ending in ruin. In architecture, art and language, there is always a magical or optimal moment, or at least the promise of one, but it never lasts.

For art to be rising into ruin means it is always falling away from its beginning and becoming something other than itself, unwanted even. Art is always rising in this way and perpetually rising into what it will become, which is ruin. No one wants to know this about art, which does not at all alter it or anything about its heading for ruin. We shore ourselves against too much reality, so the here and now of art, its numinous self, its presence, we hold dear. We fail to see the creep away, the fade of the numinous, the shift from now to then, the sea change into something strange.

We cannot say these artists are united or share a purpose. They are distinct, one apart from the other. But they come together in countertext09. What do they share? Some love language, their own or other’s, yet never expect it to come up trumps, tell the whole story, fill in the picture. Some seem indifferent to language, to say the least. They seem suspicious of it, whatever its form, however it is printed, on whatever material for whatever purpose. They are rightly suspicious, for it too rises, promising much, jabbing and hammering here and there, before trailing off, heading towards its own ruination, a route close to its heart, inherent in itself, the inevitable reduction to shards or shreds. Joe Stevens, in Outtakes from a Conversation, is succinct ‘How long before we get to the point, you know, um, but no’.

Language will fail us. The beauty of language, even if half-grasped, will enthrall us, but in the end it fails us. It tends to shred itself, start something then stop. So many of the artists here re-stage in images the way language slides away from meaning full-on and clear, moving instead into the opposing camp: language is already in tatters, already broken apart, already fully risen into ruin.

Instead, the artists put in place discomfort, ambiguity, enigma. All their works show beauty, yes, but beauty clouded or compromised. Beauty trembles at its own instability, before the slow murmuring or fast screaming realisation of its utter ruin.

Can anything be saved? Yes of course: the process leads to finished works that, in most cases, save the lack of a solution, savour irresolution, uncertainty. The finished works are what they purport to be. The surreality of the everyday and the enigma of arrival. They are themselves proof of what they perform: the beauty of art rising into ruin.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

John Taylor


Tuesday 10th - 28th November
Bridport Arts Centre
Allsop and Café Galleries

Electric Palace

Wednesday 11th November
Electric Palace
Artists film night 8-10pm

Friday 13th - 21st November
ALL venues open [programme below]


Benedicte Clarke-Roland [EP film night]

Sarah Miles [EP film night]

Marc Atkins

Nigel Slight

John Miles

David Rogers

Charlotte Loving

Joe Stevens

Mike Shaw

Andrea Crociani

Samuel St.Leger

Steven Will

Ed Jones

Eva Fahle Clouts

Gigi Sudbury

Carolyne Kardia

Anna Best

Lesley Slight

Jessie Plantagenet Ford

Tabatha Andrews

Laura Mulhern

Cleo Evans

Karen House

Supported by PVA mediaLab | Comben Electrical | Electric Palace | Creeds the Printers | Fowler Hire and Sales


From the Negative
Marc Atkins and Nigel Slight

in collaboration with Bridport Foundry
digitally manipulated photographs [2009]

The concept into binary code

venue: website taken down


Gone Wrong Dreams
John Miles

mixed media


“So new to him,” she muttered.

“So old to me; so strange to him,

so familiar to me; so melancholy to both of us”

Miss Haversham


venue: Electric Palace Café


Magnificent Ray
Sarah Miles
23mins - 16mm and DVcam [2003]


A world of emotional and sensory experience eddying

endlessly in atmosphere of the mind in twilit regions of

memory where past and present blur and complement

each other.

‘life is mysterious a luminous halo a semi transparent

envelope surrounding us from beginning to end

consciousness is the end.’

‘a shock will access the reality behind the appearance,’

Virginia Woolf

Dreamwork cleansing the wound


venue: Electric Palace Cinema [11th November only]


photo by John Miles

The Unsure Day
Marc Atkins
27:37 mins

The destination is light, on an unsure day. Where you stand stay quiet. Grasp a small breath. Watch the alien light crackle and fragment. The world is emptying before you.Step from the water and leave behind a wake. Climb steadily across your discordant thoughts. Feed on the effigies of your abased ancestors. In the semi-shade a sleeping rook looks into a disconcert eye. You are now where the rainwater washes war mud from the abandoned pavements. Reid your feit. Reed your feint. Read your fate.Consider the air on such a morning. Quiet. Damp. Grey. Here in this room the silence cannot be broken. Of leaving: Find a way on this tragic day. You turn and answer the cries from the empty square. Through the distorted glass again I see you. I stay the flow of light around your insoluble eyes peel the fluid from your ungated mouth and drive away the doubt about your deft ears. A journey. For as long as we remain still.


venue: Electric Palace Cinema [11th November only]


Anna Best
venue: Electric Palace Cinema [11th November only]

Goodbye to Berlin
David Rogers

Super 8 film transferred to DVD 8mins [1997]
Jewellery Box
Charlotte Loving

DVD 4mins [2007]
Wind Sock
Joe Stevens

DVD 5mins [2009]
Mike Shaw

DVD [2009]
Marc Atkins

DVD 11:20mins [2009]
Archiving is a Bourgeois Art
Andrea Crociani

DVD 18sec [2000]
venue: Electric Palace Café

High Stoy
Charlotte Loving

digital video - DVD 38mins

“...The spot is lonely, and when the days are darkening

the many gay charioteers now perished who have

rolled along the way, the blistered soles that

have trodden it, and the tears that have

wetted it, return upon the mind of the loiterer...”

Thomas Hardy ‘The Woodlanders’


venue: Electric Palace Cinema [check with venue for times]
and Waterstones


red lips
David Rogers and Nigel Slight
digital video - DVD [2008]






venue: Electric Palace Cinema [check with venue for times]


Nigel Slight

suspended gilded bronze / audio






venue: Malabar Trading

Samuel St.Leger
oil on canvas [2009]

‘fragments of visual language float like disembodied limbs,

forming mutations and mismatches...’[1]

…‘surely something’s awry here’ [2]

[1/2] Marc Hulson, text from Out Of Science -
works by Hiro Sugiyama, Pocko 2002


venue: Toymaster


Moth Bowl
Steven Will

Press-moulded white earthenware, black slip,
incised text, clear glaze. [2009]


“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,

where moth and rust doth corrupt”

Matthew 6:19




venue: The Book Shop


Safe as...
Ed Jones & Nigel Slight
mixed media [2009]










venue: Wild and Homeless Books


pulp fiction?
David Rogers
vitrine, shredded daily newspapers [2009]

Once a newspaper touches a story,

the facts are lost forever,

even to the protagonists.

Norman Mailer







venue: Bridport Arts Centre entrance


a German table
Eva Fahle Clouts
made from a table from the former DDR [East Germany]
and a table from the former BRD [West Germany]

‘a table is a table...’

venue: Bridport Arts Centre Café Gallery
East meets West - West meets East

Finland Station
Nigel Slight
mixed media






venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Bestiary of animals
Gigi Sudbury
oil on board 10’’x 8’’



Animal and human figure occupy a single space,

the space an aspect of the animal’s character

found in the process of painting.

I want the picture to force a stop,

to distil a moment of clarity only made possible

by letting go our need for explanation.

A counter to our need for fast and linear thinking.





venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Carolyne Kardia
plaster [2009] approx size 6ft x 3ft x 2ft

The plaster pools itself as it slowly flows, edging,

streaming finding its surface against the smooth polythene.

A line forms, twists, is drawn, then sets fixed in space.

Another pouring, gravity pulls it into another line or

is it a form — lengthens, fragile edged, with a

quick movement of the wrist, the plaster shifts,

dances, turns in on itself, playing the gesture.

Yet again, beginning mixing, it flows but this time

the pour slips forming a swelling pool, measuring,

counting time. The lines are cast, constructed —

a melody, counter-point, rooted in themselves,

a layering, a simultaneous utterance.

Woven forms inscribed in space, balancing responsive

— the whole a coherent texture folds in on itself



venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Nigel Slight
mixed media











venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


...Whitstable Herne Bay Dover Folkestone Rye Hastings Eastbourne Brighton Shoreham Worthing Littlehampton Portsmouth Southampton Christchurch Bournemouth Poole Swanage Weymouth Bridport Lyme Regis Sidmouth Exmouth Teignmouth Torquay Totnes Plymouth Truro Falmouth St Ives Newquay Bridgwater Weston Bristol Newport Penarth Barry Port Talbot Swansea Llanelli Tenby Milford Haven Cardigan Aberystwyth Caernarfon Holyhead Bangor Rhyl Birkenhead Bromborough Liverpool Preston Blackpool Fleetwood Whitehaven Maryport Annan Stranraer Girvan Ayr Irvine Campbeltown Largs Ardrossan Greenock Dunoon Oban Stornoway John O’Groats Inverness Banff Aberdeen Montrose Arbroath Dundee Perth St Andrews Alloa Berwick Newcastle Hartlepool Whitby Scarborough Bridlington Hull Goole Grimsby Boston Skegness Kings Lynn Great Yarmouth Lowestoft Ipswich Felixstowe Harwich Colchester Clacton Maldon Southend Sheerness Faversham...
Anna Best
newspapers [2006/07/09]

venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


‘…for boats catching fish like journalists catch stories,

for asylum seekers looking for haven, importing and


originally a work for Whitstable harbour, local papers draw the British coast from south, east ,north and west.

I imagined a wealth of fishing and sea stories but found mostly drug hauls, car park proposals and planning battles. Almost 100 local papers a subscribed to, all from coastal locations with harbours, fishing and also hosting newspapers with the name of the town in the title e.g the Whitstable Times. People usually keep newspapers because of a royal celebration or a moon landing. This bundle are from a random moment in time, rather than for reasons of collective historical significance.

Wittgenstein's Poker
Fredrick Harold
bronze, stainless still and nylon











venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Triptych & Trig [Installation]
Lesley Slight
oil on linen x 3 240mm x 300mm
acrylic on polyurethane 900mm x 550mm x 550mm
installation dimensions variable






venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Tradesmens' Circle [Moonlighting]
Ed Jones
wood, televisions and looped dvds x 4











venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


The Little Death
Benedicate Clarke-Roland
microcrystalline wax





venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Samuel St.Leger
Oil on board [2008/9]






venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Mike Shaw
Rip stop fabric, fan, air, digital timer [2008]


“ My work has nothing to do with words,

however, writing informs and supports its development”


venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Temporary state of mind #12
Andrea Crociani
bronze 70 x 103 x12 cm [2006]






venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Jessie Plantagenet Ford
DVD projection

I strive to create impossible illusions

using large scale video projections.

This medium allows me to play with space

and time, temporarily changing outdoor spaces

into other worlds using nature as the gateway.







venue: Bridport Arts Centre Facade
[check with venue for times]


Forbitten Words
Tabatha Andrews
25 bronze pieces from 1-5 inches across (2000-2002)

‘The voice is emitted through the mouth, an organ that also consumes and expels food. I made these works with my mouth, ‘blindly’, sculpting wax, vaseline and rosin at different temperatures and spitting them into cold water.

Casting such works into bronze combines the revolting and the precious. The works are anti-monumental in their scale and subject matter, directly revealing the process of their making; direct traces or casts of a physical movement through time. They are, literally and metaphorically, reversals of the act of consuming, one-offs.

I see these pieces as swear-words, explosions, expulsions; the kind of noises we make when we can’t express our emotions. Swear-words usually refer to bodily functions like sex or excretion, or to a supernatural or sacred experience. Perhaps these two seemingly disparate worlds, the world of the body and spirit, are more closely connected than we would like to believe’.

venue: Bridport Old Books [backroom]


Tabatha Andrews
newspapers [2009]

‘But by writing thithaways end to end and turning,

turning and end to end hithaways writing and

with lines of litters slittering up and louds of

letters slettering down…’

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake


venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


‘UMm and that was quite nice’
Joe Stevens
audio 2:46 [looped] - wireless headphones


Out-takes from a conversation.

How long before we get to the point,

you know, um, but no.



venue: Bridport Old Books [frontroom]


Something Beyond Belief I
Marc Atkins
photographic prints, adhesive tape, nails


The construction of a gestalt scenario

by the arbitrary placement of disparate images

to form a kind of story-board,

intending the viewer to make connections

of the images to form or

postulate one or more stories or events.



venue: Bridport Arts Centre Allsop Gallery


Water Table
Nigel Slight
Oraglass, bronze, water [2009]

‘Water never rests, neither by day nor by night.

When flowing above it causes rain and dew.

When flowing below, it forms streams and rivers.

Water is outstanding in doing good.

If a dam is raised against it, it stops.

If a way is made for it, it flows along that path.

Hence it is said that it does not struggle.

And yet it has no equal in destroying that which

is strong and hard’



venue: Fruits of the Earth


“Yes” An ode to Molly Bloom/Penelope
Inspired by the last chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce
Laura Mulhern
projected slides and DVD

A series of photographs mounted onto a Leica slide

projector illustrating the temperament, the impatience,

the positivity and most importantly the rhythm of

the voice of Molly Bloom; the wife of the tormented man.

No punctuation marks the rhythm of her voice;

that is up to the reader. Her stream of consciousness

reigned in. We create the full stop, the comma.

And so here, the viewer brings their own timing to

this piece; to flick through the images at their will,

pausing where they see fit, creating their full stop.

A short film of her internal wanderings run alongside

this imagery; the structure, the skeleton.

We add the flesh.


venue: Vintage at Cornucopia


Cleo Evans

On 16th May 2009, John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ rang out across

Liverpool played on the worlds’ highest and heaviest peal

of bells at Liverpool‘s Anglican Cathedral.

Futuresonic Festival commissioned artist Cleo Evans

to produce her idea in collaboration with students from

Royal College of Northern Music and change ringers to

create this special event.

Imagine was chosen as it an incredibly gentle,

philosophical, moving and iconic song, which speaks

strongly of the need for peace and religious tolerance.

This was the first time a popular, and secular song

has been played on the bells of a place of worship.

The interpretation was ‘moving as it became a

statement of being ‘civic’ as opposed to individual’.

The project was originally conceived for St Mary’s Church, Bridport.


venue: St Marys Church [Saturday 21st at 12noon]


Nigel Slight
bronze, flax rope, velvet [2009]
Double Bridport Dagger by Dee Fenton

‘You said that women, when they are going

to be hanged, are quite brave?’

he was asked by Sir William Jones.

‘Very brave,’ said Mr Pierrepoint.

‘What is the attitude of the women officers who

have to attend to them?’

‘The women don’t see the execution,’

Mr Pierrepoint replied.

‘The men take over out of the cell,

just before the execution.’

‘So there is no woman present at the

actual execution?’

‘No they stay in the cell and the women

don’t witness the execution?

‘Hanged by the Neck’

Arthur Koestler & C.H. Rolph. Penguin 1961


venue: Good News


Ed Jones
digital video - DVD


The glamour of childish days is upon me

my manhood is cast

Down in the flood of remembrance

I weep like a child for the past






venue: Vintage at Cornucopia


‘UMm and that was quite nice’
Joe Stevens
Ceramic mug


The Conversation
Ed Jones
TV looped DVD x 2





venue: Bridport Music


5 interviews about religion
Andrea Crociani
Magazine - 500 copies [2004-2005]


“The five interviews published in the magazine

took place in London between October 2004

and February 2005 with friends willing to speak

about their own religion.”



venue: Café Royal


In Suspense
Karen House
Starched cotton t-shirts, woven name labels, coat hangers


.....know, first, who you are;

and then adorn yourself accordingly.





venue: Fowler Hire & Sales


Something Beyond Belief II
Marc Atkins
photographic prints, adhesive tape, nails


From the image we encounter a very complicated system

of traps, locked gates, open roads, closed streets

and silent rooms. Objectivity is just another imagined

story. In the absence of people, when the traveller

shows up everything comes into motion. New walls

emerge and the path begins to bend. Open ways

become impassable and entangled corridors become

clear and easily negotiated. Distance and space

seem capricious and the procedures of arrangement

ambiguous. But the journey is our condition.

Our only way.


venue: Bradfords & Cafe Royal