A Singular Impulse
28th August – 29th September 2018
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Rose Nolan’s practice investigates the formal and linguistic qualities of words and their relationship to architectural space. ‘A Singular Impulse’ is a suite of new text works built from the simple repetition of a single geometric form and gesture. Reminiscent of cross-stitch embroidery samplers or electronic ticker-tape signage captured mid-stream, they highlight the space of sustained focus and labour and the measured progress of time.
In a playful self-reflexive gesture the central work to the exhibition Big Words (Not Mine) – Repetition compulsion…(2018), not only ruminates on the drive to repeat a singular impulse, but is formed by the very action it speaks of using materials that according to their promo are ‘great for often repeated tasks’. Its embedded energy is held tightly within its crisp white frame. This proposition informs the conceptual, formal and material basis for a set of responses across the space of the gallery, suggesting that Nolan is exploring multiple ways to work within the conditions she has set for herself.
Moving through ‘A Singular Impulse’ there is awareness of the way in which the works are placed to demarcate space, to be in conversation with each other and expand beyond their frames. Consistent with Nolan’s installation based practice – standing still is not an option. The central work shares a continuous white frame, but end points and joins interrupt the line of vision, making it impossible to see the entirety of the almost 14-metre work from one position. To experience each work, it is necessary to move in, to shift the angle of sight and to become conscious of the role of the body in the process of looking. Reading is as always from left to right but one must look back and forth, up and down, re-reading works already read, finding moments of repetition or correspondence between individual works that entail a expansive mode of reception.