between promise and fulfilment
21 June - 3 August 2003
Vija Celmins, Ian Davenport, Helmut Federle,
Callum Innes, John McCracken, John Zurier
and David Austen.
In 1869 Sgt. James McDonald of the Royal Engineers undertook a photographic survey of the Sinai desert as part of an Ordnance Survey of the Holy Land. His photographs are simple and strong, beautiful and evocative. They record the archaeology of the area, large tablets or steles with Egyptian inscriptions, the activities of fellow surveyors, portraits of the Bedouins, the monastery of St. Catherine, solitary sacred trees, the sites of the Law-Giving and the Burning Bush and multi-print panoramas showing the bleakness of the barren desert landscape. It is a place of recorded visions, where heaven and earth meet.
Exodus combines a selection of these photographs with work by seven contemporary artists. Chosen by painter David Austen, these artists share an exacting intensity in their work, an interest in time, process, repetition, language and layering; craftsmanship and a density of vision is common to them all. Shown together with Sgt. McDonald's photographs, their work highlights questions about abstraction, representation and the actual.
The exhibition is organised with the help of artandphotographs ltd. It is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an introduction by Anthony Downey.