- Four Corners
The latest Four Corners exhibition brings you delicately but assuredly to the edge of your comfort zone. The four artists featured explore city spaces and man-made landscapes, which are devoid of humans but bear traces of their activities.
Jo Syz’s British Landscapes have a crisp and naturalistic aspect verging on romanticism. However, his photographs of forests are not about the sublime notion of nature. Something lurks inside these green cathedrals. In the past, forests were used as sanctuaries but they were also the locus of unfortunate encounters. Syz has captured this equivocal quality through framing seemingly eventless scenes. Whilst restricted to public footpaths, he surveys military manoeuvre sites through the lens of his camera. No barrier or sign distinguishes the private from the public territory leaving viewers unaware of the implied boundary.
Echoing Syz’s pattern of trunks, Alison Marchant’s monochrome photograph takes viewers through a cluster of metallic columns articulating a vacant warehouse. The fluff covering the ground gives a subtle clue about the former purpose of this building as a cotton factory. In her work, Marchant investigates Britain’s industrial heritage; beyond the aesthetics of the disaffected mills, she bears witness to those who suffer from dust exposure, an ill effect which the corporations they once served intentionally ignore.
As Marchant, Lisa Byrne investigates the nature of the urban realm but rather than collecting people’s memories, she offers a personal interpretation of it tinged with melancholy. Byrne’s gloominess is transcended by her maverick attitude: she ventures out at night and cuts whimsically through the fabric of the city to produce idiosyncratic diptychs. Byrne juxtaposes close-ups of ornamental vegetation with distant viewpoints of eerie architectural ensembles pulling viewers through dramatic shifts of perspective.
At the point when Four Corners nervously anticipates a major refurbishment scheme, ‘On the Verge’ breaks down the neutrality of the exhibition space by addressing its imminent transformation.
Stéphanie Delcroix is a freelance writer and project manager based in London