Pathfinding by Oliver Dickens

Oliver Dickens Solo Show:


An exhibition of illustration and moving-image work

Pathfinding could be attributed to a variety of different facets of this work. The process taken when drawing landscape pieces – the exploration of soundscapes with pen and ink. The characters in the illustrations are all on journeys somewhere, trying to navigate the often bleak and hostile world they live in. The process the audience has to undertake to find their way through the moving image works, searching for the ideas and narrative fragments, and reconstructing it all in their own way. Perhaps the best attribution is to Dickens’ practice as a whole, all of these works act as an investigation of artistic identity, a frantic scrabble to find a pathway through the void.

Dickens’ illustrations explore organic landscapes and mysticism through varying styles of mark making, which are often directly influenced by the soundtracks he chooses. The somewhat simplistic character based illustrations attempt to reveal fragments of constructed folk stories, through the use of symbols and depictions of mysterious events or fragments in time.

The more abstract work explores ritualism through the process of mark making, heavily inspired by modern psychedelic and drone soundscapes, which often act as a catalyst for the journeys the pen takes across the paper. In his most recent work Dickens has been moving further and further towards a blend of all aspects of his practice. Finding and decaying 16mm film and turning them into a series of digital prints, has resulted in highly textured backgrounds, which can then form a structure onto which pen and ink can be applied.

The moving image works take a decidedly different approach, rendering the real world into thoroughly unreal ones, often utilising mundane and natural imagery to evoke mood. Recently Dickens’ work has taken an intense interest in folklore, ritualism, landscape and memory. The way this differentiates itself from the approach taken in illustrations is through an exploration of how the physical body and indeed the camera itself interacts with its surroundings. Variously collaborating with Oliver Lewis, and working on his own projects, Dickens strives to create new worlds and realities into which we can merely peer.

It is intended that this exhibition will bring the sounds that inspire the work, into the gallery space, in the hope of encouraging new dialogues between sound and image.


Private View 18th November 2010, 6pm – 10pm

Open Daily 19th – 25th November 2010, 12pm – 10pm

Ground Floor Left

Tudor Grove

E9 7QL


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