Alexandra Ross, In Search of Lost Time


SAT 18 JULY at 11am

This exhibition closes 23 JULY 2009


Journeys are the midwives of thought.
Alain de Botton

In Search of Lost Time comprises drawings, paintings, mezzotints and a series of monotypes that together track the artist’s recollection of a train journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Extending her work from painting, photography and drawing to unique and editioned prints, this show continues to explore Ross’s fascination with the ambiguous relationship between reality and illusion. The resultant images, some drawn from reality and some from memory, appear intangible and ephemeral.

Ross began her art career as a painter in 2004. In 2007 she widened her oeuvre with a site-specific installation of large-scale photographs that functioned like ‘fake’ windows through the gallery walls on which they were exhibited. It was for this show, Viewpoint that Ross was awarded the Brait-Everard Read Art Award. The following year she explored the medium further, producing a series of nude photographs, printed on aluminium as part of a two-person show entitled, In Camera exhibited at Resolution Gallery, Johannesburg. Shortly after completing a four-month residency at the Nirox Foundation in 2008 and receiving her Masters in Fine Arts from Wits University, she was invited to collaborate with the printmakers at David Krut Print Workshop in working towards a solo exhibition at David Krut Projects in June 2009.

In Search of Lost Time is a journey. It begins on a train… and ends in a train of thought.

It unfolds as the story of an actual train journey; the lived, embodied experience of going from one physical place to another, but it also traverses the imaginary and intangible landscapes of memory and mind. The fleeting glimpses of the world outside the shadowy train interior, briefly framed in the window, may be either real or false. Likewise, the works themselves, paintings and drawings made from photographs and finally presented as imitation Polaroids, hover in the indeterminate gap between reality and illusion, fact and fiction. As the train journeys onward, passing real people and places, the consciousness of the traveler recalls and invents other, more ephemeral ones. And while the Journey as metaphor evokes collective, generic memory, it is my personal journey, regaining ‘lost’ time – a journey through photography back to painting and drawing. Ross, 2009

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