SIZE matters

Palin, Tom ORCID logoORCID: (2018) SIZE matters. [Show/Exhibition]


This exhibition took a contrary response to the seemingly ubiquitous phrase, ‘size doesn’t matter’ and set out to explore the intimacy and intricacy of the very small in works of art. Miniature art has a long history that dates back to the medieval scribes, and an often-used definition would be that it should fit on the palm of your hand – usually less than 100 square centimetres. For this exhibition, the restriction was 20 x 20 cm in any direction, including the frame. The organisers, Hannah Billinge and Paul Cousins, intended the exhibition to be an invitation to artists to think small, and/or to rethink the value of smaller existing works. I exhibited The Flyover, oil on oak, 11 x 14 x 2 cm from an ongoing series of small works on wood that I began working on in 2010. The small scale of paintings permits me to touch and see, and to feel closer to what it is that inhabits my space. In its nearness, painting becomes more akin to a seductive surface; a skin wherein things simply show up and resonate in proximity to other things. I paint small so as to permit the spectator to connect with the works as objects; to take in at close quarters the undulation of surfaces, the shifts of direction, the edge, and also a history too—to consider what a painting is, was and might become.

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