Layered surfaces and changing material

Layered surfaces and changing material

Hatice Utkan Özden
Layered surfaces and changing material

Istanbul’s Rem Art Space is hosting British artist Tom Fellows’ solo exhibition, “Increasingly Distant.”

Fellows deals with time and space in his works. For him, how time and space dissolve on the surface of materials is an important aspect in his art. His artwork is a reflection of his enthusiasm for creating different surfaces on the traditional trays and antennas. His material is part of his urge to recreate new surfaces within time and space.

“For me, everything is about the process. I do not focus on the end product,” he said, adding that the name of the exhibition - “Increasingly Distant” - is also a reflection of this process.

Each work is almost like a testimony to the time spent on it. Every mark you see is a reflection of time. That’s how the show relates to time and space. Sometimes, he uses eight layers of paint and then uses a hammer to disrupt the flatness of the surfaces. Fellows is always looking for new ways to change the flatness.

“There are few artists I am obsessed with such as David Hockney. I always examine how he treats water; he is fascinated by how water behaves, and this reveals in his paintings. You can look at the water as a flat surface and also in it or onto it,’’ said Fellows.

He also gave the example of Lucio Fontana and how he exploits the nature of flatness. That’s how he explains his works - an attempt to exploit the natural and known surface and turn it into an unknown surface.

“There are eight layers of painting and with the actual surface it becomes nine layers,” he said, noting that he works on each layer with different car paint.

As the layers change, as the flatness and structure is altered from its original nature, the artwork changes. As the surface of the work changes, the artwork’s behavior changes.
Fellows studies sculpture, and his approach to art comes from a sculptor’s perspective. He loves the idea of changing material and designing something new out of everything. That’s why he uses baklava trays (Turkish traditional dessert), tantuni (a type of wrap) dishes and antennas in his sculpture-like works.

He embraces Raymond Larry’s approach and believes function is the priority. As he turns baklava trays into a form of art or tantuni dishes to pieces with car paint, the result is a new form. That’s why his works appears as a new form of art.

Each work reflects on the walls of the gallery and creates a new area in time and space, making the viewer question is it possible to create something new, a new form from our old ones and live with a new idea of becoming something completely new.

“Increasingly Distant” can be seen through June 15.