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Vivacious Decline 2012, Tom Johnson,

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2, 2012

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2, 2012

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2, 2012

Impressions 2012, Poppy Pitt


Utrophia, Deptford High Street, London, May 2012

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2' brings together four artists whose works emanate from the translation and interpretation of their physical environments. From map-making to embroidery, surface duplication to object production, a wide range of practices offer  individual impressions of inhabited environments. Shared by each artist, is the notion that our surroundings are in a sense constructed.

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2' further develops the dialogue established in ‘Topographic Translation’ (Bristol Diving School), influenced and elaborated by a new locality. Cityscapes are re-interpreted as bodyscapes; romanticized perceptions of landscapes are reconfigured, while the cold, unforgiving nature of the pavement beneath our feet is transformed into microcosmic urban topographies, where nature inevitably finds its niche.

Locations have been discovered by geographic limitations and then presented in Nic Marshall’s sculptures. A clean cut square frames a textured surface that has been replicated and isolated from these locations. The viewer is invited to simultaneously interpret both the location his work references in the outside world and the scaled down, adventurous landscape it portrays in the exhibition.

Lizzie Cannon investigates the interface between biological forces and the human desire for control. Through pencil rubbings she maps the urban terrain, producing a landscape reminiscent of forested mountains or fluvial plains. Drawing is used as a process of organic growth, the pencil taking the path of least resistance along weaknesses in the pavement’s surface. Hand embroidered details draw the viewer in, mirroring the experience of finding a miniature world within a crack in the pavement. In her sculptural work, Cannon re-configures fragments of found pavement. Embroidery is used as a subtle transmutation from the hard, unforgiving surface of this urban substrate to seemingly organic growths that colonize cracks and crevices within the pavement.

In her series of Bodyscapes, Poppy Pitt explores the fluid nature of boundaries between the body and its immediate environment. Using a mixture of hard and soft materials she creates sculptures and installations that represent the landscapes created by human bodies as they move through urban spaces. Her work invites an intimacy and creates a delicate and soft encounter with the viewer whilst at the same time imposing a weight on the gallery space, and making the encounter with the viewer a physical interaction. Her work presents the body as an entity, which both impresses and is impressed upon by its environment, and maps that interaction.

Tom Johnson’s abstract paintings offer pixilated geometries, which question our perception of traditional landscape construction. Colours may be borrowed from a remembered scene, a classical landscape painting, or a hyper-real video-game environment. The process of pixilation removes recognizable points of reference to subvert logical comprehension of the landscape, in favour of a subjective delivery. Tom’s combination of digital techniques and rudimentary framing reiterates the human element of their construction in order to allude to the notion of the landscape as a cultural construct.

Lizzie Cannon
Tom Johnson
Nic Marshall
Poppy Pitt

Supported by:
Utrophia Art Space

Topographic Translation: Iteration 2, 2012

Form Lines 2012, Nic Marshall