for the time being
Ramp Gallery, Wintec, Collingwood St, Hamilton
12 – 22 June, 2018
Sleight of Hand is a term commonly associated with magic, trickery and the art of misdirection. A skill of cunning where dexterity, combined with showmanship, produces illusions that make an audience gasp with wonder. But trickery to one is the display of skill to another – years of repetition, learning and development culminating in a precise moment.
Sleight of Hand provides an opportunity to experience these moments, bringing together makers that explore their chosen medium with playfulness and rigour in equal measure; suggesting an alternative way of experiencing and looking at the world around us.
Barbara Smith's practice is squarely founded in the exploration of materials. Rather than focusing on the heroic and spectacular, she notices the potentiality of small everyday moments. From the process of continued exploration, a body of work emerges that investigates materiality with the lightest of touch, intuitively unveiling the miraculous in the ordinary. Barbara’s current work For the Time Being explores how the transformative act of naming, conjures subjective associations and meanings. It begs the question – how does one understand that which cannot be easily named?
The five artists (Jen Bowmast, Lynda Wilson, Leafa Wilson, Natasha Matila-Smith anad Barbara Smith) work in different media but all explore potentiality and moments of transformation in their practices. The exchange between materials, ideas and intuition are played out by each of them. This urge to make and transform arguably speaks to larger needs we all face; the need to find a sense of place and of belonging. In this fast-paced digital and global world of ours, moments of quiet where transformation is observed and experienced, can create this feeling. Organising perceived disorder can make one feel at home and part-of, rather than adrift in space. The gallery in Sleight of Hand is a utility room for presenting art, but equally, it becomes a site for enacting exchange and thereby cultivating a sense of place and belonging.