Roger Ackling: Things of August

25 April - 24 May 2003

Roger Ackling creates his intimate and beautiful wooden sculptures with the meticulous use of a magnifying glass. By projecting sunlight through the glass he burns lines of tiny dots onto the wood's surface to form geometric patterns.   The wood that he uses is found on coastal walks - not only drift wood,  but remnants of previous objects now obsolete, unidentifiable or broken - weathered by time and the elements and often including rusted nails, holes, stains or daubs of earlier paintwork.  


Ackling's work poses questions about the relationship between nature and humanity and yet, up until now, they have been formed without the direct contact of the artist's hand - their production is remote but their alteration by the artist gives themµ a specific and serene individuality.   


This exhibition of Roger Ackling's sculpture displays an exciting new progression in his work.  The show, comprising over 30 works, includes a selection of 14 new pieces. All made in 2002 these new sculptures incorporate the use of rubber bands stretched taught across the burnt patterning or hanging limply over it - held in place by mapping or drawing pins.  The development expands Ackling's interest in manufactured products in contrast to nature: the rubber bands seem vulnerable and their presence calls into question our misconceptions about the durability of man-made objects.  Aesthetically they reinforce Ackling's interest in geometry and sfymmetry - reflecting and complimenting the sun-burnt patterns or the contours of the wood beneath them.  These new works display a dynamic tension between their modern and time-worn qualities and are testimony to Ackling's enduring artistic sensitivity.   


Roger Ackling has been exhibiting since 1967 and has had many  one-person exhibitions  in London, Europe, Asia and America.  He has exhibited with Annely Juda Fine Art since 1987 and is represented in important public collections worldwide including The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate Gallery and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.