31 March - 31 August 2011
Mister Mercer, an exhibition by Sarah Macdonald, Eleanor Wright and Richard Whitby takes it's title from Henry Chapman Mercer, an American archaeologist who in 1916 built the world’s first poured-in-place concrete castle. The Mercer Museum is in Doylestown Pennsylvania.
The show’s title evokes a human personality, whereas the work included remains empty of figures or reference to the individual. The work illustrates a curiosity with the past and a predilection for the melancholy of the ruined and forgotten. A methodology connects these artists: a distillation of a place, be that derelict and abandoned ships, defunct zoo design or grimly functional urban spaces.
Sarah Macdonald paints from observational drawings of the built environment. Her semi abstract paintings explore edges, spaces, relationships, lights and shadows. They are paintings are understated and frequently monochromatic. In 2009 she was awarded the Claire Winston Memorial Award. She currently lives and works in London.
Eleanor Wright makes installations that draw on the existing architecture of the exhibition space, re-ordering and re-thinking the way in which we position and navigate ourselves within spatial conventions. Her working methods indicate a plural relationship with her surroundings. She works with cast concrete, metal and rubber-to-wall printing, audio field-recordings and the filming of objects. In 2012 she exhibited in Switch at Baltic 39 in Newcastle upon Tyne and she solo exhibition planned for 2013 at Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Richard Whitby makes videos, printed papers, sound works and installations. He also writes and lectures and often works with tropes from cinema and advertising in order to critique them. Recent projects have focussed upon Romanian communism and stray dogs, the financial crash of 2008 and the Terminator films. In 2012 he exhibited in 'The Voice and the Lens' a screening programme at the IKON Birmingham.