Weighting Rooms

28 August - 26 September 1998

Weighting Rooms : Ystafelloedd Aros is the second exhibition in Cardiff’s youngest gallery, bringing together the work of Richard Owen and Darren Stevens. The title of the exhibition is a play on words, with both artists contributing to the pun.

Owen’s work focuses on details and fragments of things that happen as asides or that exist on the periphery of an event. The installation at g39 is filled with a sense of something about to happen with the viewer held in extended pauses between images of an unmade bed in a sun-filled room. The large-scale projected image comes and goes occasionally leaving the viewer in darkness and expectation. This poignant image is accompanied by a lyrical piece of text entitled Things gone and things still here. Owen states:

‘I see my work as focusing on moments other than ‘the event’. I am interested in the end of narratives / dialogues, pauses, periods of rest and hesitation (possible resignation). By focusing on details and fragments that may disturb, puzzle or trigger recognition I attempt to disrupt the viewers’ engagement with the narrative. In my artwork two processes predominate: the juxtaposition of disparate images and texts, both found and personal, resulting in a poetic accident (ambiguously decipherable) and the attempt to restage found imagery which inevitably becomes something new (and more interesting). A central aspect to my practice is to maintain a balance between intention and accident. I believe in the importance of imagination.’

Darren Stevens presents us with simple architectural line drawings of the gallery’s rooms and stairwell applied directly onto the walls of the gallery. Confronted by these, there is a moment of self-reflection as we apply them to our physical location. These 3D ‘maps’ present the exhibition space as the artwork; diagrams that describe the space on the very walls that contain it.

‘It has always been an aim of mine to faithfully recreate an environmental concept (physical) so universally well that it sites the spectator in their environment in the image; to produce in the spectator an instance of self-reflection on the basis of their physical situation. The works are therefore produced as both large-scale line productions and critical / descriptive reflections of their environment. They turn the concept of the art object inside out and reflect on the exhibition space as the artwork.’