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8th March - 3rd April 2014

York College Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by London based artist Sarah Bowker-Jones. The work on display was created during February 2014 and was made quickly and intuitively for the space.


All the work is as new to the artist as it is to the audience coming to view the work. Bowker-Jones has been experimenting with painting and sculptures for many years and is tirelessly discovering new processes of making her work. Her recent works are embedded with what she calls ‘high-speed patina’ which acts almost as metadata revealing clues to the history of the objects making. There is a juxtaposition of strong and weak materials which hold each other up, or together for now, but will gradually collapse over time, the weaker materials either fading, or disintegrating leaving behind an imprint or cavity of its existence.

“You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying” was the ‘thought for the day’ at Tooting Broadway tube station one rainy November day last year. It was signed by Einstein although the actual source has never been confirmed. Bowker-Jones used the title to push on through as an artist despite the frustration of sometimes having so little time in the studio she forgets she is an artist. She has a love-hate relationship with the title, using its truism as fuel to keep on going yet slightly cringing at its triteness. However, she has doggedly chosen to stick with it.

“Keep on moving, keep on thinking, keep on making, keep on doing and keep on repeating. It all seems intrinsically easy and in essence maybe it is, but in reality things get in the way; get attached on areas of the brain and pull you back in to safer realms looking for acceptance and praise. To maintain the process of 'keep on going' is extremely difficult, and within this body of work we see the output of an artist who refuses to stop.

The key is be in a mental state that allows flexibility, and in turn the outcome, of a new way of looking at this overtly complicated yet at times stupidly simple concept we call art. So when I look at this work I have to tip my hat at the different references and conversations with the narrative of art but I always end up admitting I'm not entirely sure what it's all about. Yet this is the crux of what Bowker-Jones is trying to achieve, to stand dumb struck at the possibilities of art, and maybe what we take away is no matter how complicated and interwoven life is, we only really have the option to keep on going”. Mike Ryder, Artist and Curator (2014)


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