Sunlight and Gravity

15 July – 30 October 2016

Works by Roger Ackling and Richard Long

This exhibition celebrated a life-long friendship between two of the most innovative artists who have worked with nature, the elements and the environment. On show were some of the reliefs by Roger Ackling from the 1980s to the 2000s made with driftwood, using the rays of the sun focused with a magnifying glass as a medium to create marks.

Roger Ackling agreed to this exhibition in the year before he died of motor neurone disease. and it became a a memorial tribute to him. He died at his home in Norfolk during its planning in 2014. Some of his unique weather diaries were on show for the first time.

  Roger Ackling - 1947-2014   Photo: John Riddy  Roger agreed to this exhibition in the year before he died of motor neurone disease. This photograph was used to publicise a book of essays by his former students and colleagues: Roger Ackling: Between the Lines, edited by Emma Kalkhoven.
Roger Ackling – 1947-2014 Photo: John Riddy. This photograph was used to publicise a book of essays by his former students and colleagues: Roger Ackling: Between the Lines, edited by Emma Kalkhoven.

Roger Ackling made many works at Voewood, where he lived, and in Scotland, where he also eventually had a home. Sunlight on wood with metal was his most usual chosen medium and he was a master at making beauty from almost nothing. These classic groups of works, using waste wood and the rays of the sun focused to create regular marks, exemplifies the time and careful judgement it required. Qualities of calm and concentration are somehow always evident.

 A rare picture of Roger making work by burning with a magnifying glass onto card. Taken in France by Isabella Oulton.
A rare picture of Roger making work by burning with a magnifying glass onto card. Taken in France by Isabella Oulton.
  Roger Ackling - Sunlight on Sunday 10.10.10 at 10, 2010 Sunlight on wood  This work is self-explanatory but like much of Roger’s work it is more complex than it seems. It reveals a lot about his wit and humour, and sense of occasion. But also, it celebrates the special nature of time and place, the point at which all forces are gathered in unison in a never-to-be repeated way.
Roger Ackling – Sunlight on Sunday 10.10.10 at 10, 2010 Sunlight on wood

Sunlight on Sunday. This work is self-explanatory but like much of Roger’s work it is more complex than it seems. It reveals a lot about his wit and humour, and sense of occasion. But also, it celebrates the special nature of time and place, the point at which all forces are gathered in unison in a never-to-be repeated way.

Richard Long showed pictures made with mud from the river Avon near his Bristol home and he made a new Great Ouse River drawing, with mud from the Great Ouse river which runs through King’s Lynn. In both cases the artists created images without direct use of the hand.

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