17/03/2012 — 5/05/2012

Leo Fitzmaurice and Paul


Blank Stir

copyright Leo Fitzmaurice 2012

We are delighted to be showing new work by artists Leo Fitzmaurice and Paul Rooney, two of the northwest’s most prominent artists.

Entitled Blank Stir, the exhibition  comprises of two separate installations whose relationship to one another is in their purpose to unsettle the gallery environment and disorientate the visitor.

Leo Fitzmaurice makes work that looks afresh and finds new potential in familiar things.  His installation for this exhibition  upsets the classical Edwardian symmetries of the gallery.  Through the use of white vinyl and brown parcel tape, walls appear to slip down onto the floors, and the floors to rise up onto the walls.  It is a work inspired by the various background materials common in galleries but not seen by the public, in this case the various humble tapes used for packing, sealing and masking, and the artist’s observation that overlapped tape creates the colour, look and scale of the gallery’s floor boarding.

Paul Rooney’s work focuses on the nature of subjectivity in relation to the historical past, often dealing in particular with the difficulty of attempting to render memory in language or images.
Rooney has written a new sound work for Grundy, which features the voice of a small child.  The child, as well as attempting to speak to you, the gallery visitor, appears to be voicing over a film that we cannot see.  The child reveals that the film may have been shown in the gallery sometime in the past.  It seems that the child's voice over has departed the body of the film to haunt the gallery: seeking someone, maybe you, to lay it to rest.

Grundy first worked with Leo Fitzmaurice in 2011 on his work Horizon for which he selected landscape paintings from Grundy’s collection which he arranged to create a continuous horizon line across the gallery wall.  The exhibition follows Fitzmaurice’s recent success in The Northern Art Prize, which Paul Rooney also won in 2008.   Blank Stir is the second collaborative project the pair have conceived following their book Wrongteous published by Arts Editions North in 2008.


Installation shots of Blank Stir can be seen here.

The exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.