‘The title Jackdaw comes from Kafka’s father’s business logo / family crest. The quote from Kafka is:
‘A picture of my existence…would show a useless wooden stake covered in snow… stuck loosely at a slant in the ground in a ploughed field on the edge of a vast open plain on a dark winter night.’
James Pyman, describing his drawing Jackdaw
Maureen Paley is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring Salvatore Arancio, Rachel Cattle & Steve Richards and James Pyman. This project brings together drawing, etching, sound and video works, as well as sculpture. Each artist explores the natural world hinting towards the super-natural and inexplicable. The works also examine and quote from popular culture, fanzines and literature creating an often ambiguous rendering of their melancholic inner visions.
Salvatore Arancio uses a range of media including photo etchings, collage, animation and video to produce works that look to science and nature as sources of inspiration. Fascinated by founding myths and legends, Arancio manipulates images to create new juxtapositions that are both beautifully evocative and deeply disquieting. Born in Catania, Italy in 1974, Arancio lives and works in London. He received his MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include Alternating Layers of Contrasting Resistance, Rowing, London, UK and The Little Man of the Forest with the Big Hat, Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome, Italy, both in 2013. Group exhibitions this year include PROJECT 03: Data, Contemporary Art Society, London, UK and Curiosity: Art & the Pleasures of Knowing (Hayward Touring), Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, touring to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich, UK, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland, de Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Rachel Cattle and Steve Richards make short experimental films, publications and other ephemera. Their collaborative practice employs outmoded technologies and low-fi materials, referencing cinema, popular culture and music. By collaging together materials from multiple sources (including song lyrics, philosophical texts and personal anecdotes) Cattle and Richards contemplate the fluidity of time and memory in an attempt to re-enliven the past and de-stabilise the present. Recent projects include Videotheque, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Groove Script, X Marks The Bökship, London; Possible School Book: As Found, Five Years, Tate Tanks, Tate Modern, London; Poster Project, Clockwork, Berlin and Black Hole Hums B-Flat, a performance as part of the public programme for Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark, Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s, Barbican Art Gallery, London.
James Pyman investigates how identity is defined by circumstance, geography and popular culture. His drawings and writing has evolved across a range of forms including large-scale drawings, fictional biographies and artist publications. The visual languages of children’s illustration, comic strips and other graphic narrative forms are used as a vocabulary with which to communicate complex social ideas. Pyman lives and works in Sheffield and London. He has held solo exhibitions at Maureen Paley, London, 2010 and S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2006. Group exhibitions include Creative Time Comics, Creative Time, New York, 2009 and Cult Fiction, which toured to New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall; Nottingham Castle Museum, Nottingham and Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds. In 2008 he collaborated with Four Corners Books to produce an illustrated edition of Bram Stokers Dracula. In 2012, he completed Upper Mill, a large-scale outdoor artwork commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield.