The artists in Playtime explore an idea of play and time and in particular, play in time. The works presented engage a concentrated field of activity, their singularity proposing an intimate address with the viewer, one where intensity and expression are allowed to co-exist with pre-formed strategies. Such an approach sees painting as a compression of time that demands unlocking. A conundrum that can only be resolved by the ‘play’ of each painting, whereby each, in their own way, provide very different solutions. Using a devised set of actions or manoeuvres they often allow for intuition and improvisation albeit framed by a set of boundaries or procedural strategies, and yet never simply reducible to these strategies. Repetition, structure, constructed elements and regulated gesture etc., are all used singly or in combination. For some colour is the prominent element, for others process, or even both. For example, Gina Medcalf and Sharon Hall both use structures geared towards enabling a chromatic play, while David Rhodes and Robert Holyhead are attuned to the surface or spatial-making activities of gesture. Laurence Noga and Katie Pratt, working from very different positions and outlooks, question whole-part continuities and the micro-macro constituents of making and looking. For each of these artists painting constitutes a way of being attuned to the intertwining of the internal formation of a work, and its pointing elsewhere. This is not done through representation, didacticism, but rather, through a constructive and exploratory sense of play.

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Picture: Sharon Hall – Accentata ( Blu ). 2019. Oil on canvas. 40.5 x 50.8 cm