"Always even-tempered, he spent most of his time out of doors, going on long expeditions even in the worst of weather, or when it was fine sitting on a camp stool somewhere near the house in his white smock, a straw hat on his head, painting watercolours. When he was thus engaged he generally wore glasses with grey silk tissue instead of lenses in the frames, so that the landscape appeared through a fine veil that muted the colours, and the weight of the world dissolved before your eyes. The faint images that Alphonso transferred on to paper, said Austerlitz, were barely sketches of pictures - here a rocky slope, there a small bosky thicket or a cumulus cloud - fragments, almost without colour, fixed with a tint made of a few drops of water and a grain of malachite or ash blue."
"Lesley Punton and Judy Spark share a concern in their attempts to bridge a certain sort of gap; that of the difference between the physical experience of specific varieties of ‘natural’ phenomena or places, and their articulation in human terms. Both feel the impossibility attached to this problem, but nonetheless remain dedicated to its resolution through the making of art. For these two artists, the making of an artwork is a process of interrogating lived experience and it is the language used to express this search, which is also a quest for other varieties of understanding, alternative ways of knowing the world. The question of whether such alternative interpretations are subjective or in some way universal is inherent to the work.
The processes of Punton and Spark sustain common patterns; periods of concentrated engagement with objects and places of interest, an awareness during such engagement, of duration, of breathing, of scale, and working methods which mirror these physical experiences; an almost meditative approach to drawing for example. The results stand as evidence of the inquiry, the process itself is what is important. The bodily experience of phenomena is reflected in the consideration of how, and for how long, the viewer physically encounters the work, which is ‘quiet’ and aims to draw the viewer into a contemplative ‘space’ in which they might imagine, or consider, their own process of engagement with ‘the things themselves.’
Having recognised the similarities between their working practices, the two artists have become begun to pay close attention to their contrasting approaches to the pursuit of an idea; Punton’s is deeply experiential, entirely dependent upon the measured contact of her feet with the ground of the remote environments she craves. Spark however, despite a natural bent towards phenomenological thinking and certain Eastern approaches to the natural world, feels unable to completely suspend her embeddedness within technologically bound western culture, for her a revised understanding of one, can only impact the other.
From the dialogue generated by these commonalities of practice, as well as their disjuncture, the artists intend to probe the gaps between experience, whether natural or technological, and its articulation, with the hope of uncovering the fertile ground of potential new understandings. The resulting work will take the form of drawings, photography and recorded sound."