The Couple 2009
etching on Fabriano Artistico paper
edition of 10
44 × 35.4 cm (paper size)
My Love, I have been digging up my own bones in the garden again
An exhibition of work by David Austen presents an invitation to step into a parallel existence…. A strange and fragile landscape populated by figures, flowers, trees, abstractions, words and signs; woven across painting, drawing, print-making, sculpture and film.
It is a fragmented but distinct encounter, in which each object and artwork stands alone, yet simultaneously forms part of a greater whole. The drama that unfolds reveals the tragic-comic potential of human existence and the futility of love. It is a world of love and fear, though the cruelty is offset by the empathy Austen brings to his subject matter, and by the tenderness of the craft.
My love, I have been digging up my own bones in the garden again, is Austen's fourth exhibition with Ingleby Gallery but his first in the new gallery space on Calton Road and thus the first chance to show the full reach of his extraordinary imagination. It also presents an opportunity to focus on Austen's work with the moving image; his films Smoking Moon (2006) and Man Smoking (2008) will be screened - in Gallery II -, with the addition of a screening of Crackers (2007) every Thursday at 6pm.
We are especially pleased to bring Man Smoking to Edinburgh - Austen's silent study of the Italian artist Enzo Cucchi. Cucchi was last seen in Scotland in October 1987, exactly 22 years ago, for his exhibition held at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery. Austen's film of Cucchi sitting and smoking in his native Rome forms a poignant partner to his Smoking Moon, the two films together providing a dark commentary on the uneasy balance between reality and myth.
Recent exhibitions of Austen's work have included Smoking Moon, at Camden Arts Centre, 2007 and a major exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery, also in 2007. His film Crackers was screened at the Locarno Film Festival. His newest and most ambitious film to date End of Love will be presented at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston in December 2009. Simon Groom, director of the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, will be in conversation with David Austen on Saturday 11th October, and a series of films for the subsequent six Saturdays, commencing 17th October. The films will start at 4pm and are: The Man Who Fell to Earth, L'Eclisse, Mauvais Sang, Threepenny Opera, Alphaville and Sud Pralad.