Vigo Gallery in partnership with English Heritage presents Vertical Planes by Jordy Kerwick.
The exhibition comprises a new group of Kerwick’s distinctly bold, graphic and colourful paintings. Executed in oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, the works are playful in style, redolent of the exuberance and carefree qualities of childlike creativity and mark-making, and quasi-mythic in content, depicting dramatic scenes populated by strange, fictive, creatures. Wolves, cobras, bears, horses, skeletons, and humans are scrambled into the hybrid beasts that roam the canvases. They are often depicted double-headed, a loving nod to Kerwick's two young sons Sonny and Milo.
The paintings take their cues from two sources; the extraordinary location of the exhibition in Wellington Arch and The Vertical Plane by author Ken Webster. In this book Webster playfully and ambiguously examines rifts in time and parallel universes through recounting the story of interactions he had with a series of apparently supernatural entities, including oddly a spirit from the future, who appeared to be haunting a medieval building the author was renovating.
Running with the idea of parallel universes, in each of which a slightly different history and narrative unfolds, Vertical Planes, is presented by Kerwick as the telling, in graphic, mythic and symbolic form, of a fictional encounter between Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington at a secret peace negotiation held on the Isle of Wight just prior to Waterloo. In this scenario details of this extraordinary event have only just come to light thanks to a recently discovered memoir by one of Wellington’s aides. Inspired by this new significant historical document Kerwick represents different moments in the meeting with the double-headed cobra and the double-headed wolf creatures as representations of Napoleon and Wellington, though on question of which is which, Kerwick remains circumspect.
The exhibition is accompanied by a text on the Isle of Wight meeting by Nick Hackworth, co-conceived with Kerwick.
Forthcoming shows curated by Vigo Gallery at Wellington Arch:
Ibrahim El-Salahi ‘Black and White’ | 01 – 30 October 2022
Matthew Burrows ‘In and Through’ | 02 November 2022 – 08 January 2023
Marcus Harvey ‘Waterloo Sunset | 11 January – 19 March 2023