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Gallery 9

Time, history and place are universal themes that lie at the heart of Tacita Dean’s work. Dean is best known for her use of analogue film, and her advocacy for its preservation as an artistic medium, but she has a wide-ranging practice that includes drawings, photographs, installations and collections of found objects and images.

Tacita Dean: Significant Form

Dean was introduced to the work of Barbara Hepworth and the St Ives School of artists while studying at Falmouth School of Art. She found a particular affinity with Hepworth’s interest in Cornish landscapes, the natural rock formations, the coastal paths and the ancient standing stones. Like Hepworth, Dean is also drawn to the notion of ‘truth to materials’, observing: ‘The medium itself will give you something entirely unexpected, and something far better than you intended.’ By using analogue materials and techniques, Dean is guided by the specific qualities of mediums she works with, embracing the unpredictability of the making process.

For her new commission Significant Form, Dean has selected 130 postcards from her found postcard collection, which she has gathered at flea markets over many decades. The images have been re-photographed and photochemically hand-printed at various scales and on a variety of papers. Inspired by her shared interests with Hepworth, Dean selected images that depicted a representation of, or potential for, sculptural form, creating an intuitive journey through objects and formations found in the natural world, to others made by artists across time. Presented without attribution or explanation, Dean’s free-flowing constellation of images encourages us, the viewer, to follow our own readings and associations, and find our own significance in forms encountered in the world around us.

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With special thanks to our 10th anniversary circle:

And all those who wish to remain anonymous.