Dawnbreakers – John Hansard Gallery

by Chantal

This Friday evening I went along to the John Hansard gallery in Southampton to listen to the curator’s talk about the current exhibition Dawnbreakers. The show has been curated by Juan Bolivar and it was interesting to hear him speak about his approach to the curatorial process and some of the thoughts behind this specific show. There is an interview with Juan on the Hansard website so you can listen to his thoughts there.

Nest of Putrefaction, John Stark 2009, Oil on panel

“Dawnbreakers brings together contemporary artists of mixed disciplines and uses this moment in history as the backdrop to the exhibition, drawing parallels with its transformations and underlying tensions. These artists negotiate the heritage and tradition of ‘the artist’s hand’ within an unfolding new age.

Dawnbreakers does not illustrate what is meant by digital or analogue. Neither is it an homage to the fears associated with Y2K paranoia or a yearning for bygone times. In a manner echoing the dramatic transitions that occurred during the ‘fin de siècle’ period of the 19th century, these artists’ works take different forms but encapsulate a common feeling, as our age meets
tomorrow’s world.”

Its a very entertaining show with quite a theatrical aspect to many of the works. There is broad mix of disciplines that come together well in their  overall apocalyptic feel.  Favourite works of mine on the night were pieces by Tom Dale, James Hopkins and Richard Wathen. I was also really pleased to get to see one of Ruth Claxton’s pieces who I blogged about recently.