Gorse and Tropē: Fernando Otero and James Hillman

8 September - 22 October 2016

LAMB arts is pleased to present “Gorse and Tropē” a two man show including works by James Hillman (b.1992, England) and Fernando Otero (b 1972, Peru).


The exhibition “Gorse and Tropē” relates the idea of these two separate words and the meanings that they carry into process. Tropē is the Greek word for transformation and one of the origins of the word entropy, the measure of the descent into disorder.


Gorse is a type of plant in England which, in order to control and regenerate periodically sets itself on fire, as its seeds are aided in opening up in the burning.  This plant utilises disorder (the fire) to re-new itself, a fine entropic navigator transforming the normal flow of destruction to its own benefit.


Otero and Hillman both explore the concept of entropy as a force they attempt to navigate and utilise in an effort to create, something that we, as a civilisation try and fight against.


The top floor of the gallery hosts a new body of paintings, bronze and concrete sculptures by British born James Hillman. The stretcher structure of each painting is used to organise his disorderly act of painting; the works go through a process of layering, de-layering and eroding until an image appears, which is a marriage between the painted surface and the wooden grid beneath - In other words a unity of the chaotic and ordered. In this the paintings are like Gorse, going from the disorder of the ashes into a newly realised form.


Hillman’s new sculptures explore concrete, wood and bronze. Referencing motifs filled with an already ordered historic symbolism, the circle, cross, and palm leaf (all symbolic of the sun), are passed through the intricacies of the bronze process and combined with electrolysis. The resulting effect is used to disorder, re-contextualise and imbue them with new meaning. In that sense it is an opposite and complimentary process to the one of the paintings. The sculptures parallel the Gorse going from it's known state into one of disorder when it burns.


Occupying both basement and cave, Fernando Otero explores and references an ingrained history in his media and materials. One of the key points in his work is a concept of collecting and re-using found materials, injecting new meaning and purpose into objects that would usually be referred to as “poor” materials. The evidence of time through the history and surfaces of his work is reoccurring. Here we can find an exploration of  worlds and values cracking. Otero believes in the possibility of taking traces and remains to re-construct a new order, which holds humble and conscious connotations


Three installations that Otero has created for Gorse and Tropē explore re-using parts of previous worlds or structures to propose and regenerate new ones. Always beginning with the re-organisation of these things, establishing order, archiving a catalogue of precious parts and declaring a value of something that previously had none, he makes the statement that the value is more in the creative, organisational act of the artist and less in the material.


Hillman and Otero’s compositions draw from both order and disorder, utilising polar ends to achieve a balance. In this they attempt to find a universal truth – that very little can exist without equal parts of both.