The curatorial and editorial project for systems, non-
Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough. 28 Sept -
A review by Annie O’Donnell
©Copyright Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hancock All rights reserved.
Late September in the North East marks the arrival of the annual Middlesbrough Art
Week. The town’s art spaces, and a host of temporary venues, are busy with a programme
of work from more than 120 international, national and local artists. This year,
responding to the theme ‘Measure’, the artists share their understanding of time.
Some events take place on a single evening under a noisy underpass; others, such
as Perpetual Arrival at Platform-
Through the double doors to the main space, I am drawn to the tall, comedic, twin
pillars of Michael Samuels’ Constant Square Peg Round Hole 1 & 2 Birch Ply (2023).
Ply sentinels, they stand on the reconfigured metal legs of Modernist furniture;
they have pencil markings and coloured dowels, and large circular holes to peer through.
I use them to squint at Neo-
Morrissey & Hancock’s Arwoedh Rudh (2011) forms an intricate but definite ‘X marks
the spot’ in acrylic on plastic and paper, contrasting with their Rotational Series
(2017) close by, a drawing of geometric permutations, connecting with ideas of arrivals
at more scattered destinations. Meanwhile, Cluster (2018) by Nathan Cohen, a layered
gathering of monochrome MDF X-
On the short wall at right angles to the windows, Mikael Fagerlund’s Mobile Drawings
Siri (93ac0c) (2018) forms a jointed zigzag of rods of clear acrylic, which causes
their bright, colourful painted edges to float above the surface of the white wall,
and forms material allegiances with the work of David Batchelor close by. Its neighbour,
Head of Movement (2017) by Andy Harper appears deeply complicated in comparison.
Sweeping gestural brushstrokes resembling Persian calligraphy, feathers or leaves
seem to slip across a highly detailed ground, where multiple vanishing points push
and pull the geometric mark-
Across the gallery, Jyll Bradley’s Fingers (2022) are two small works humming with
The artist as creative refugee.
Outside the large windows, the prefabs and machinery of ongoing building work add their own flashes of colour. Visible too, on a pillar between the windows, are Weather Diary 2 (2021) and 1 Cipher Series: The Taming of the Shrew (2022) by Eleanor Wood. These reworked 20th century books contain exquisite grids of pencil, oil and piercings on waxed paper that draw me closer in an attempt to decipher them. On the long opposite wall, the shiny MDF faces of the rectangular components of Thomas Vinson’s New Order (glossy) (2019) appear interchangeable, perhaps like a sliding puzzle toy. The dark gaps between the pieces stand out precisely and yet are disturbed by the differing depths of the elements and the chipboard edges of the work.
All photos courtesy of Rachel Deakin