Visible / Invisible


Visible / Invisible - Silver Building

Here is my secret. It is quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Visible / Invisible is an exhibition of images by Merrick d’Arcy-Irvine about the space between figuration and abstraction, picture-making and mark-making, photography and painting.

Begun during the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, the series started as a way to work in the isolation of a darkroom, and so was initially a purely abstract exploration of shape and colour.

A variety of techniques were developed, using paint, light and chemicals, to make the prints entirely by hand. Quick applications of paint and chemistry, as well as rapid gestures drawn with light, were intended to evoke a sense of movement and flow, echoing the photographer’s interest in dance.

As social distancing rules eased and working with others became possible, ten sessions with a total of seventeen dancers were arranged in order to capture a set of nude choreographies intended to be blended with the techniques developed in the darkroom over the preceding months.

The artists photographed were: Anairin Kaines, Ayo Babatope, Ben Knapper, Cassandra Scalia, Connor Williams, Daniel Perry, David Agunda, Emma Farnell-Watson, Evie Webzell, Hannah Grennell, Imogen Alvares, Jordan James Bridge, Joshua James Smith, Kyle White, Kym Sojourna, Naya Lovell, Oma Benjamin and Sharol Mackenzie.

These dancers, having been shown the abstract pictures made to date, choreographed their bodies imagining they were pushing and pulling colours through the spaces around them. The photographs, shot on medium format film with the assistance of Vanessa Ng, were then printed with Arthur Vickery and Nic Roques in the darkroom applying the use of paint, light and chemistry to create a ‘fusion’ of figurative and abstract images, as if the bodies pictured were transitioning from one realm to another.

With this in mind, Guy Hoare is creating lighting for the exhibition echoing the colours of the darkroom, with fluorescent LED lights subliminally shifting between white, sodium orange and red, revealing and hiding shapes and colours within the images.

In collaboration with House of Mass, choreographers Daniela Neugebauer, Hannah Grennell (featuring music by Zohar) and Owen RD will, at 7-9pm on Friday 8th October 2021, showcase three new movement pieces in the exhibition space (Upper Boiler Room and Gallery), as well as the House of Mass studio. Tickets for this event can be purchased for £5.50 per person via House of Mass.

Visible / Invisible runs 10am-6pm Thursday 7th - Sunday 17th October 2021 at the Silver Building (60 Dock Road, London E16 1YZ)