Introducing Tim Fishlock's Latest Collection
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Introducing Tim Fishlock's Latest Collection

Nov 23, 2020

After his second sell-out show with Hang-Up last year, Tim Fishlock is back with his latest and greatest body of work. Whilst his art is always evolving, one thing that remains a constant is his fascination with words and the letterforms that comprise them. We visited the artist's studio to discuss his practice and latest body of work, watch below.

Fishlock continues to find inspiration in the ‘cut-up’ technique first expounded in Tristan Tzara’s instructions on how to make a Dadaist poem. Following on from The Future Leaks Out; an eye-popping, interactive artwork comprised of rows of text-covered wooden blocks, the artist has a new series which includes colourful originals on board and an interactive wheel.

Fishlock with an original from his latest collection 'FACT BURNS'

Fishlock with an original from his latest collection 'FACT BURNS'

Photographed by Simon Kallas

Take a newspaper. Take a pair of scissors. Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem. Cut out the article. Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag. Shake it gently. Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag. Copy conscientiously. The poem will resemble you.

Tristan Tzara, 1920

FIRMER TERROR & THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU on show at Hang-Up Gallery

FIRMER TERROR & THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU on show at Hang-Up Gallery

Photographed by Simon Kallas

In an era when attention spans are short and brevity is king, I’ve been working at saying as much as possible with as few words as possible. Aware that this approach can become a potential creative cul-de-sac, I discovered for myself the lyrical power and shift in consciousness that can be achieved by subverting the normal word order and its semantic meaning. It’s an impersonal method of inspiration and invention. As Burroughs put it, 'You cannot will spontaneity but you can introduce the spontaneous factor with a pair of scissors.'

Tim Fishlock on the appeal of his disruptive approach to semantics

Each spin of the wheel results in the random generation of 8 five-word slogans or phrases when read from the outer ring to the centre. There are 32,768 different permutations of these slogans.

THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU in action
THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU in action
THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU in action

THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU in action

Photographed by Simon Kallas

The new originals enlarge textual fragments that burst beyond the edge of the medium. Fishlock's approach to image making is clearly informed by the twenty years he spent working in graphic design, branding and advertising. As well as an aesthetic balance and beauty, there is always concision in the way he reflects on the fragile state of society and our place within it. He is, he says, "allergic to platitudes" and looks to poetry for its "economy of truth".

REKANT, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

REKANT, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

FIRMER TERROR, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

FIRMER TERROR, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

The artist explains: "This on-going series of large-scale paintings was born out of the interactive spinning wheel piece, THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU. Whilst that work is an exploration of semantics and serendipity, these paintings go beyond language and messaging by cropping and abstracting the words and finding a pure enjoyment in the letterforms themselves. The use of repetition and the comic book palette gives the work a Pop aesthetic. For inspiration, I looked at the large-scale paintings of KAWS and worked hard on making the pieces as refined and precise as possible. The fact that these paintings have a strong Op Art quality in the flesh was an unexpected bonus."

FACT BURNS, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

FACT BURNS, acrylic gouache on board, 2020

For Fishlock, words and the glyphs that form them are a constant source of joy. The message can often be dark and misanthropic but the method of delivery is always playful. Careful consideration is always given to the selection of words, which can often allude to a fairly misanthropic, dystopian world-view. This establishes a striking contrast between the subject matter and the dazzling and aesthetically pleasing visual language.

FIRMER TERROR & THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU on show at Hang-Up Gallery

FIRMER TERROR & THE POEM WILL RESEMBLE YOU on show at Hang-Up Gallery

Photographed by Simon Kallas

THE FUTURE LEAKS OUT, 2018, where the artist began to use the 'cut-up' technique developed in his latest collection
THE FUTURE LEAKS OUT, 2018, where the artist began to use the 'cut-up' technique developed in his latest collection

THE FUTURE LEAKS OUT, 2018, where the artist began to use the 'cut-up' technique developed in his latest collection

You can see more of Tim Fishlock's work here. Click on follow to ensure you get new access to his latest collection ahead of general release. And of course, don't hesitate to get in touch to enquire or request the artist's full catalogue.

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