Dreamspace is the gallery, events and education space that the company I work for runs. And what it doesn’t have in size, it more than makes up for in content. With a curator like Sebastian Craig behind the wheel, to me this space is getting to be as fun, interesting and thought-provoking as any East London gallery can get. Though with a vision more focused on the point where architecture meets design.

But that’s what I really like about the city of London.
There are so many concepts and ideas to pick from. And around every corner is a cafe waiting to be discovered, a gallery to be explored. Every time you come across something interesting, it feels like you’re the first to walk through those doors and sample those delights. And because there’s so much of everything, it never feels like you’re doing the same thing again and again.
No shortage of the new and unexplored, for sure.

But back to Dreamspace and the current Stephen Carter exhibition. Carter is famous for his newspaper paintings where he recreates the structured layout of information using one-to-one scale rectangles.

He initially started out with black and white versions of these before moving into color.  With the latter, each color has a different meaning – white for editorial text, blue for editorial images, red for advertising and so on.

What is interesting about these works is that unlike newspapers that have a short 24 hour shelf life, these painted constructions are timeless. And by simple virtue of not having text or images to date them, which is how we would otherwise locate ourselves in this seemingly endless passage of time.

Apart from these color block paintings, Carter also recreates the newspapers to go with each. And seeing the two positioned beside each other, makes me more sensitive to the fact that as human beings we sometimes get lost in the details. The absence of these makes for a different and simplistic experience of life, which in some cases is actually more wholesome. Like in the case of a certain silent movie I’ve fallen in love with.

Carter also creates paintings that are arranged collages of newspaper headlines. To me the first line is the one that stands out the most, just like a headline does. The rest is text that is as important, but not so much as the title phrase.

Carter’s concepts are refreshing, and I feel lucky to be surrounded by ideas I am tempted to appropriate for my own. It keeps those wheels whirring and makes me look harder for inspiration. Not that I have to look too far beyond Seb’s desk.

Stephen Carter: Reading Between the Lines
5 Jan – 1 Feb 2012


This weekend’s been quite an interesting one.
A whiff of a boy.
A househunting problem that got resolved by itself with the advent of two possibly lovely housemates and an upcoming Ikea trip.
A lesson in how problems can resolve themselves sometimes.

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