The Shape of Things: JFK Turner

30 July - 31 August 2022

The Shape of Things presents JFK Turner’s work, which is concerned with two key elements - images and objects. This exhibition explores the meaning of an image: how they are constructed, made and our response to them. 


Objects hold power over us, we covet them, we associate memories with them, consume and discard them. Found objects from other eras fill our museums and we piece together our understanding of these societies by their lost and reclaimed objects.


Turner begins by gathering objects from our modern world, such as fragments of plastic and scraps of cardboard. The objects are lost and found; strange and familiar. Turner converts these three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional images through a variety of approaches, including orthographic projection, drawing, a photogram and a collagraph. These images are reconstructed from unconventional artistic materials, such as wax, carboard boxes, nails and roof titles. This echoes Rauschenberg’s belief that ‘painting is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world’. 


The artist works on wood to allow the surface to be attacked, revealing how these works were constructed. These paintings share the characteristics of sculptures, as a reaction occurs between the materials. The final object is not just an image, but a physical thing.


My work is always based on this one idea and I keep doing it. If you pull at a single thread the world unravels.


Turner enters painting into a new realm, which converts the ordinary into the extraordinary.