Above: Don't Nobody Know My Troubles With God, Helen Hayward and Pauline Wood, installation view.

Above: Exhibition poster edited by Tom Sewell

Above: (Left) Alice and Cake, detail, Helen Hayward. (Right) In support of the Silent Desert (Longest Night), detail, Pauline Wood

Christian mystic Jacob Böhme (1575-1624) saw beams of sunlight reflecting upon a burnished pewter bowl. In that moment of inward ecstasy the structure of the universe was revealed to him. Hayward and Wood like the sound of mystics having visions and although they don’t know what that means the idea of Jacob having that vision became a starting point for their collaboration opening up a reactive space of making.

We are not gods but we make things within the universe. We push the structure around and hold it in our hands, impressing and illuminating. In the recent publication The Kiss or Poison Boyfriend or Jesus' Blood (with some notes on touch), 2018 Neil Annett quoted Clement Greenberg in the essay Why do artists make prints? suggesting that artists wanting to make art 'on its own terms' was akin to artists wanting to imitate God. To wrestle with making artworks might be a bit like wrestling with God.

Pierro De La Francesca’s painting Madonna del Parto 1460, resonated with Hayward and Wood’s endeavors to wrestle with substance and the becoming of things; with God. Francesca presents the Virgin with angels that hold curtains aside in order to reveal her obedient pregnant presence. Having submitted to her divine destiny she is full to bursting with (internal) making. Even the material of her dress is stretched to its limits as it attempts to circumnavigate her burgeoning bulges forming a slim vesica piscis – perhaps a precursor to birth and also Christ’s eventual tearing of the veil between God and humanity upon the stage of the crucifixion. Stages, curtains and performance.

Helen Hayward’s objects perform. They exist on the cusp of the rising and falling of their grandiose selves as they seek, find, fail and battle with spiritual connectedness. When the curtains are pulled back on their stage they will Punch and Judy for us. Punch and Judy - can you Adam and Eve it? Flurries of ruffles, a glancing flip of a bright ra-ra hem with a red-cheeked and powdered grin behind it. The hint of a too-tall wig, raucous and off balance. A stockinged foot with a pointed, buckled shoe. A fan to hide behind - just a little curtain - to reveal or conceal the face.

Pauline Wood submerges light bulbs into concrete for the structure’s own knowledge, not ours. A light denied. A turn away – a snub. An interiority between God and itself. Even she doesn’t know. Maybe her trouble with God is her inability to get the relationship right, but nobody knows that. There is no preaching here - except to the pigeons outside the gallery window and what do they know? There’s also a mocker, but it’s a dumb thing just like the idols.

Don't Nobody Know My Troubles With God – An exhibition title containing a substitution of 'but' for 'with' - a miss taken, miss-hearing of a lyrical phrase from Moby's Natural Blues which sampled the slave song, Don’t nobody know my troubles but God. The intimacy indicated by but and the struggle of with could be said to be the two positions from which Helen Hayward and Pauline Wood’s making was approached.

(Troubles are always with the one that isn’t God.)

www.intercessiongallery.co.uk

Above: Entrance with view through to main gallery

Above: Main gallery with view to entrance

Above: Inner wall, main gallery.

Above: View towards printed hanging construction in main gallery.

Above photo by Pauline Wood 2018

Above: Detail of the inner floor space of hanging construction.

Above: View to rooftop from gallery window.

Above: Piercing of the deceitful heart (Who could know?) 2018 Pauline Wood watercolour and ink on cotton attached to floor underlay paper with enamel and spray paint. 36.5 x 51.5cm

Above: Bleeding woman touches His hem in order to be healed. 2018 Pauline Wood. watercolour on cotton attached to floor underlay paper with spray paint. 32 x 40cm

Above: Deceitful hearts at God's Holy Mountain 2018 Pauline Wood watercolour on cotton attached to floor underlay paper with spray paint 33 x 42cm

Above: Given Land 2018 Pauline Wood watercolour on cotton attached to floor underlay paper with enamel and spray paints, on Somerset paper with emulsion 49.5 x 42cm

Above: Installation view (on top) Bleeding woman touches His hem in order to be healed, Pauline Wood (beneath) God's exquisite rays of light (purple) 2018 Helen Hayward monoprint on fabric

Above: Installation view (on top) Deceitful hearts at God's Holy Mountain, Pauline Wood (beneath) God's exquisite rays of light (pink scars) 2018 Helen Hayward monoprint on fabric

Above: Jesus and a demon, 2018 Pauline Wood monoprint with chine collé on Somerset antique paper framed in narrow oak with double thickness cream mount. Image size 20 x 14.5cm, framed size 40 x 33cm

Above: Heavy Soul, 2018 Pauline Wood

quick-set concrete, concrete pigment, spray paint, house paint, costume jewellery (length) 32cm (width) 16cm (depth) 8cm

Above: Searching of the heart, 2018 Pauline Wood quick-set concrete, concrete pigment, black glitter, spray paint, lamp holder, light bulb, electrical cable, plug, found wood off-cut. Concrete body height 22cm width 15cm

Above: (Left) The warm earth, 2018 Pauline Wood quick-set concrete, concrete pigments, black glitter, spray paint fixed to gallery wall sprayed gold 43 x 42cm (Right) Given land, 2018 Pauline Wood (details previous)

Above: Entrance. (L-R Clockwise) Untitled, 2018 Helen Hayward monoprint. God's glory begins to descend starting with the cloud of darkness, 2018 Pauline Wood monoprint Moses watching God's glory beginning to pass by him, 2018 Pauline Wood monoprint The Marchioness 2018 Helen Hayward collagraph varied edition 4

Above: God's glory begins to descend starting with the cloud of darkness, 2018 Pauline Wood monoprint with chine collé on Arches paper image size 42 x 30.5cm  paper size 57 x 38cm

Above: Moses watching God's glory beginning to pass by him, 2018 Pauline Wood monoprint with chine collé on Arches paper image size 29 x 20cm paper size 38 x 28cm

 

 

Photo by Paul Wardski 2018

 

 

Photo by Alexander Small 2018

 

 

Photo by Pauline Wood 2018

Above, installation view three works (L-R) Given Land, Pauline Wood God's exquisite rays of light (medallion) 2017 Helen Hayward fabric, oil paint, monoprint, embroidery thread, elastic Piercing of the deceitful heart (Who could know?) 2018 Pauline Wood

Above: Installation view through God's exquisite rays of light (Muff) 2018 Helen Hayward fabric, oil paint, monoprint, embroidery thread, wadding, mdf

Above: In support of the Silent Desert (longest night), detail 2017 Pauline Wood. nesting tables' legs, emulsion paint, spray paint 

Photos by Tim Bowditch 2018 except where credited otherwise.

 

Pauline Wood © 2018 all rights reserved