The penetrating power of rhythm:

The elemental energy of landscape and ritual forms much of the focus of Charles Gore’s work in this exhibition. His interest in art, performance and ritual, evolving from his initial training at Chelsea Arts College and the Wimbledon School of Arts, and later studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), has shaped the paintings, photographs and music which have been brought together for ‘Art in Unconventional Spaces’.  These dynamic compositions frame moments of perception, but continue to expand through their engagement with the viewer.  Such expressiveness is difficult to ignore: Gore’s work explores the complex relationship between art as figurative object and art as subjective expression and experience, a relationship particularly evident in his African photographs, many of dance and ritual, which capture the rhythm of intensely-felt emotion, freedom and joy.

The subtle rhythms of colour and space are also expressed in Gore’s landscape, still life and portrait painting.  Although largely figurative in its representation, it moves towards an abstraction of the energy latent in the scenes with a paring away of detail, and an intensity of expression & vitality of colour which reveal the pulse at the heart.   Perspective seems, at times, almost to dissolve, so that one finds oneself at the centre of the painting. The strength of the brush stroke in the French landscapes also contributes to this immediacy, the paint itself becoming expressive, and the unusual tonal quality of the pictures adds to their depth. This is particularly true of one of the smaller landscapes, ‘The Road to Saignon’.  There is also considerable range of scale: the large portrait of Nick Danziger, for example, strongly expressive of the brooding presence of its subject, shows Gore’s versatility, its energy combined with a stronger and more classical sense of restraint.   


This is an exhibition which invites the viewer to reconsider his relationship to the art displayed and the space it inhabits.  Music specially composed for the event accompanies the presentation of slides posing questions both light-hearted and penetrating about the nature of this relationship, inviting us to see with a quieter eye but also with an energised perception.   


The formal neutrality of the exhibition space is instantly transformed by the penetrating rhythm of simple drum beat which opens the presentation, drawing us into a sense of the deeper and elemental rhythms which shape the expression of life in all its forms:  art as a way of life, captured in the rhythms of custom, or art reflecting the rhythms of landscape and form.


Charles Gore’s questioning of the purpose of art invites the consumer and art critic to look anew.  ‘Art in Unconventional Spaces’ liberates us from the label and the price tag – all works are presented untitled, and are not for sale during the exhibition. There is no repeating formula, but always the sense of exploration and enquiry.  It is this spirit which gives the exhibition its homogeneity and frees the paintings from any dependence on the space in which they are exhibited.  


‘Art in Unconventional Spaces’ also reminds us that connection with the deeper rhythms expressed in these works can be made in the most unlikely places, that space itself is fluid, constantly redefined by the objects and people which occupy it.  The aptly named ‘Think’ venue is perfect for this experiment: minimal and spacious in its design, it provides a comfortable and convivial arena for the exploration of these ideas.

                                                                                                                                       Lesley Sharpe, November 2009

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                                                    Exhibition: Talking Art, 29thOctober to 30th November 2009

                                                              Road show- Art in Unconventional spaces continues.

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Charles Gore at the Think venue, Earl’s Court,  29th October 2009