Echoecho: Jonathan McCree

29 April - 4 June 2023

For this exhibition McCree's earlier cardboard sculptures are referenced in sand-cast aluminium arrangements hung onto the walls of the gallery, where the forms are echoed in wall painting and paintings on sheet aluminium.

The new sculptures see shapes that McCree has worked with before metamorphosed; blown up, simplified, exaggerated in scale and transformed in almost covert fashion, into a new material. Casting cardboard into aluminium destabilises our experience and offers up a tension around truth, authenticity and value. We are fluctuating between the experience of something real and the sense of something symbolic.

McCree has a new tool kit to hand, affording exploration and multiple possibilities. The sculptures float up and down the walls of the gallery, some solitary, some inseparable, some made stronger by their multiplicity. Cobalt blue, pale pink, orange, yellow, green, circles, lines, arches, some have teeth, some feel like soldiers, others like sunsets or ice-cream.

McCree works with memories and daydreams, which give way to sensations. Through his wall painting he invites us to enter another realm, allowing us to experience the tensions between surface and space, texture and form, picture and sculpture, wall and floor. The result is an ambiguous encounter, which asks, can something be made more real or less real? Or indeed what is real?

McCree creates parallel realms, which generate a concurrent reality. In turn we are offered the possibilities of an escape, to inhabit a world of our choosing.

In this exhibition McCree has amplified drawings from his sketchbook. Drawings of memories of places, on large sheets of pale pink and pale blue coloured aluminium, and again we float. We recall a tree, the feeling of grass below us, or do we? McCree uses memory as a material, creating layered realms of reflections, repercussions, traces and responses.

"My intention is to generate sensations from an encounter with colour, weight, surface, texture and space. In turn I ask my sculpture to operate in space in a way that requires us to use our memory. We have to walk around, look through and peer inside. We scan and hold in mind."
McCree, April 2023

Memories of an atmosphere or emotion are transcribed into particular colours or shapes in this exhibition. Much of what we see daily is often made up in the mind and our brains are left piecing together information from memories. Echoecho suggests this feeling, where images slip in and out of recognition, sculptures that look like one thing but are not, solid forms that float, walls that seem to undulate. McCree's practice lives in this in-betweenness where ambiguity abounds, and memories and sensations are unearthed through our deep connection to times and places past.