Marion Piper, 3C2, 2014
Earlier this year, artist and curator Jane Boyer visited former Platform Graduate Award nominee 2012 Marion Piper at Angelika Studios in High Wycombe where she first saw her institutional flyer works. In the following feature Jane discusses the appeal of Marion’s work drawing on Frame and Reference flyers which can be seen in the group show RECURSIVE opening on 9 October in London.
I was instantly attracted by these pieces because of their ephemeral nature and simplicity of concept. I was reminded of the scribblings I used to do on similar kinds of material when I was a child, but mine of course, were never as sophisticated as Marion’s. The naiveté of children in their desire to draw – on anything – combined with the childish yearning to make a mark on the elusive and mysterious grown up world underpins these pieces by Marion, though her works are anything but ‘childish’. And despite the fact that Marion is not directly connecting to childhood creativity in her practice, she nevertheless has harnessed those innocent childhood creative desires and produced some very contemporary works, sometimes elegant, often simple, and always intriguing. I was delighted when I discovered Marion had entered three of her works made on Frame and Reference flyers for the RECURSIVE open call.
Frame and Reference is an on-line visual arts magazine and the site for the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (formerly called Turning Point) in South East England. This consortium of 18 contemporary art organisations and venues works to promote and strengthen the cultural experience for audiences in the South East. Their flyer motto is “Collaboration” “Culture” “Creativity”. Marion says she is attracted by these words: “Frame and Reference declare Collaboration, Culture, Creativity, the 3C’s of my titles. I like the order of these words. I am responding as I work on these in the same way I make other work, spatially, structurally, rhythmically, intuitively, with pattern, with ruled and hand made marks. The drawings made in one session are connected in a way that further pieces made with the same materials at a different [time] are not, even though similar. I sense that the rhythm of the activity, results in a ‘looping’ (as in a guitar looper pedal) or opened up layering of some sort. The immediate response is to see or recognise the flyer that will be a potential space/surface…always immediate. I take them to the studio and incorporate them intuitively into the action of the practice. They seem to aid the drawing process, some of the decisions are already made.”
The thing that intrigues me most about these works, aside from the variety of patterns Marion creates, are the areas where the lines gap, like stutters or little invisible crevasses made visible by Marion’s repetitive mark-making. Their visibility illuminates the otherwise invisible elements in the drawing process; flaws in the paper surface, an interrupted flow of ink. They also show the otherwise imperceptible quality of Marion’s handling of materials and tools – the precision and the mishap, decision and chance. Frame and Reference said of Marion’s drawing in a recent tweet, “…it adds another dimension to flyer.” Indeed it does and reveals a whole range of invisible mysteries at the same time.
RECURSIVE opens on 9 October at No Format Gallery in Woolwich, London. The exhibition is curated by Jane and is themed on the repetitive inner thought process made visible. Exhibiting artists are Hitomi Kammai, Jane Boyer, Ant Pearce, Simon Fell, and Susan Francis. The media sponsor Art Pie coordinated an open-call competition on the theme Repetition in conjunction with the exhibition and these entries, including Marion’s FR flyers, will be presented in a grid in the RECURSIVE exhibition.
To find out more and to cast your vote in the competition, go to the RECURSIVE blogsite.
To see more of Marion’s work, go to marionpiper.com.