Department of Works
18.05.22 – 04.06.22

Department of Works is a project developed by the painter Peter Adsett and art historian Mary Alice Lee, and is an extension of a Masterclass they initiated in New Zealand nearly 20 years ago. During 2021, a group of nine artists who are all former students of the Masterclass, engaged in an intensive three-month programme of studio work, critique sessions and readings, with the aim of pushing the boundaries of their respective practices.

The artists represented here want to reaffirm the critical importance of the prolonged, thoughtful gaze. Their shared philosophy broadly relates to Process Art, resulting in works that provoke gallery visitors to an unaccustomed stillness, returning to them a measure of participation. The artists understand that the meaning of a work of art inheres in its constituents: the supports, materials, and processes. Whilst ‘process’ is a time-honoured idea, this exhibition reveals that the notion is anything but exhausted; it offers, instead, an exciting alternative to art that enforces an ideology upon a passive viewer. Created in a spirit of exploration, and of serious engagement with physical properties, the exhibition will nevertheless surprise the viewer with its wit and mischievous humour.

(click to enlarge)