Broughton & Birnie: ‘The Plotters’
Exhibition runs: 11th May – 3rd June.
Opening times: daily 8am - 5pm (weekends 10am – 5pm).
Plotter: someone who secretly makes plans to do something illegal or harmful; a conspirator. Intriguer, conspirer, traitor, schemer "a GPS chart plotter".
The coffee house has become European histories place of choice for planning and disseminating plots to change or reinvigorate the world. In Vienna at the beginning
of the twentieth century it would be possible to see Trotsky, Hitler and Sigmund Freud sitting with their followers discussing the views that would impact the world while
in Paris, the cafes were full of artists, writers, philosophers discussing their visions of modern life: Picasso holding court at the Dome or Sartre inspiring students to
revolt at the café de Flore.
With the advent of the digital age came an increase in ease and speed of contact, allowing an individual using social networks to message millions in seconds
enabling the coordination of the London Riots and the Arab Spring. The flip side is the resulting data trail that provides the information for surveillance and manipulation.
When next relaxing in a café, consider your fellow diner's mobile devices, and ask the question: is the person sitting opposite you texting a friend or triggering a bomb?
The collaboration of the artists is a fundamental part in the production of the work. An image is chosen (often inspired by works of other artists works – Caravaggio,
Degas, Guston, Rothko...) which is transformed by a constant working and re-working of each painting, passing between each other as if immersed in conversation,
neither artist works with a definite idea of where they are going, only with the concept that the work needs to express when complete. The collaborative process that
creates the work articulates a fundamental: no one knows where they are going, so enjoy the ride and hope you recognize the destination when you arrive.
Kevin Broughton graduated from the Royal College of Art and Fiona Birnie graduated from Exeter - they have been collaborating since 2003 using photography, video,
site-specific installation, sculpture and more recently painting to produce work exploring surreal themes of anxiety and neurosis in contemporary society.
Recent solo projects include 'Our Ever-Expanding Distance from Disaster', Rum Factory Wapping London 2017, 'Absurd Monuments', Paris 2015, 'The Last Party on the
Titanic', Willow Walk London 2014, BERLIN: The Forger's Tale – The Quest for Fame & Fortune', WW Gallery London 2013, - group shows include ' You Are Here',
Stockport War Museum Memorial Art Gallery Stockport 2018, 'Painting Open', no format Gallery London 2017 Painting [Now] Studio One Gallery , London 2017 'Bad
Behavior Open', London 2016, 'Lucy In the Sky' Transition Gallery, London 2015.
The artists live and work in London.