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Father, Mother, Daughter

An experiment in thinking from Nottingham based artist Derek Hampson

General Practice, 4th - 18th November 2023

Opening night 4th November: Talk by Derek Hampson 4pm, General Viewing 5-7pm, All Welcome

General Practice is pleased to introduce a solo exhibition by Nottingham based artist Derek Hampson. The origin of this exhibition is a newspaper article, which told a story of family breakdown, drug addiction and violence. The story, and its many ramifications, captured Derek Hampson’s imagination, to such an extent that he felt the need to make art about it, by creating portraits of the newspaper story’s three main protagonists. The father, mother, daughter of the exhibition’s title.

Each portrait is triple, i.e. it consists of three individual painted portraits of its subject. These triple portraits are not triptychs, but series, which result from the operation of adding one portrait after another to a given starting portrait image (not present in the exhibition). Visitors to the exhibition encounter the aftermath of this operation, when the series are experienced as something that forces one to think. This is the outcome of two series being put into communication by an image common to both: an electric fan, a bridge, a hand holding a knife, etc. These images can be interior or exterior to the portraits. Regardless of their location, they circulate between the series, causing a resonance in the one who views. This is the effect of being forced to think, an effect that replicates the ramifications of the original story, from which the artworks originate.

Hampson’s interest in series has grown out of his engagement with the writings of the French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze (1925 - 1995), who, in many of his works seeks to overturn what he considers the dominant force within painting and thinking: representation; the force that seeks to put conceptual limits on things. Representation relies on recognition in order to work, we think we know what something is when we recognise it. Series, on the other hand, create something that is unrecognisable, it is the thing that we find unrecognisable that forces us to think.

Being forced to think is a characteristic of an experiment. This exhibition is experimental in two ways: its arrangement of artworks in series is an experimental approach to the demands of creating an exhibition that rejects the values of representation. The second experiment is the, as yet, unknowable effect that the experience of artworks in series will have on visitors to the exhibition.


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