Ian Rawlinson


7 May - 1 June 2014


Preview - Tuesday 6 May  6:30 - 8:30pm

Artist Talk & Film - Wednesday 21 May  7 - 9pm

Ian Rawlinson returns to his hometown with an exhibition of new work which includes a study of place and memory, as seen through changes in the Kite area of Cambridge. Paintings, prints and drawings are being shown alongside a short film.
(Note: the film will run continuously until 1 June)

Emma Higginbotham’s article in the 
Cambridge News
Read Ian’s article on 
Anglia Ruskin’s website
Corinna Lotz’s article on 
A World To Win
Wes Freeman-Smith’s review 
Slate the Disco

Ian Rawlinson’s recent 'Frontier' paintings refer to an internal place of transition. A sense of duality inhabits the images, with backgrounds depicting fluid or forming states set against dark foreground squares. The potent image of a black square was inspired by an illustration in a book by Robert Fludd, a sixteenth century physician and astrologer, depicting a square of ‘unformed dark matter’. This image lends itself to many interpretations and Rawlinson has used it in several of his earlier works.

His most recent work utilizes a similar device in which the shape of an area of Cambridge known as the 'Kite' has become the central theme. The images draw upon another dual idea - an external as well as an internal place. The black squares and dark backgrounds in the new work now take on the guise of an external presence encroaching on or shadowing the 'Kite' shape. These works specifically reference a street map of the 'Kite' from 1980, shortly before the Grafton Centre was built and some of the Victorian streets still held strong against impending change. This period remains particularly poignant for Rawlinson as he left Cambridge before the redevelopment was completed and his memories of the 'Kite' are without the imposing contemporary features that now dominate the area. This idea of place and memory is further explored in a short film also entitled 'Vessel', shot by Rawlinson, which is being shown in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

Whilst making this body of work the artist has researched and explored many connections with his past. Born in Cambridge in 1963, he grew up in the city during the 1960s and 1970s and studied art at Hills Road Sixth Form College and Cambridge College of Art & Technology. He left in 1982 to further his studies and since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1987 Rawlinson has lived and worked in London. To date his work has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions both in the UK and internationally. He has travelled and worked in Europe, the USA and Mexico and has taught at art colleges throughout the UK including a return to Cambridge to teach at Anglia Polytechnic University during the early 1990s. Rawlinson had always intended to show his work in Cambridge but it was only during the research and making of the film 'Vessel' - when he visited Williams Art - that the concept for the exhibition really gained momentum.

Vessel will be the first comprehensive showing of his work in Cambridge.

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