Sedition is pleased to introduce a new collection of Terry Flaxton's portraiture works: Portraits of Glastonbury Tor, Portraits of Cannareggio, Venice, Portraits of the Arrow Tower, Beijing and Portraits of New York.
Terry Flaxton’s Portraits of Glastonbury Tor was the first in a series of still yet moving image portraits from around the world, which included Venice, Beijing, London and New York, amongst others. Each subject remains statue-like on screen for approximately one minute. Flaxton’s intent with the series was to refer to 18th and 19th century portrait painting, where the subject is dressed in a particular way, or carries or is placed with an object that speaks about who they are - and also to late 19th century photographic technology where the subject had to remain sufficiently stationary so that an image might be registered in the then new medium. Through this there are also references to 17th and 18th century Tableau Vivant where peasants covered in stone dust were employed by the rich covered to simulate Greek renaissance statues – there would have been a moment - either when the days work were done or when no one was around - where the ‘statue’ would come to life.
This series was more recently joined by Portraits of New York which are taken in front of the Flat Iron Building in New York. After many years of working photo-graphically, Flaxton realised he was heading towards 'the graphic'. Several of his works on Sedition speak to that gesture. But the issue for him in this work was: what is 'the line' what does that description of mark making mean - why do we draw, why do we inscribe and why do we abstract? For Flaxton, sometimes, each work is a step forward towards an unspoken goal. He argues: “I know what that goal is in some deep unarticulated way (important that this never really enters the domain of words) but the art works themselves are the gestures of that journey made in transit, shared with the viewer. This is a little bit of New York and a little bit of 'drawing'.”
There are eight portraits of communities in this series all of which have been captured in 4k since 2008 – the entire series was to describe to each community both it's local reality and also it’s global reality – so that when looking at other communities each reveals themselves in that gaze.