@ERG - TAMLIN BLAKE: Stealing Beauty


Blake ColourWeb

@ERG - TAMLIN BLAKE: Stealing Beauty
Aug 23 – Oct 6, 2018




23.08.2018 – 06.10.2018



Tamlin Blake - Stealing Beauty: An obsession with a mathematician’s art, and my father’s trains

Tamlin Blake is a South African mixed media artist, deeply interested in what constitutes and underpins each individual’s sense of belonging and identity, especially in a country that constantly asks us to question our cultural links. This exhibition explores the making of memories and identity through the consideration of inherited heirlooms and treasured objects, as well as the spaces once revered by lost friends or family.

Stealing Beauty is a series of works which have slowly emerged out of the curiosity and wonderment I have felt from two very different influences.

The first was seeing the little known art work of a French mathematician and historian Bernard Bru in a private collection in London. These works are explorations of geometric shapes and planes of complimentary colours which shift in differing tones and ripple over the artworks surface. Bru was interested in painting and sculpture purely as a means to make concrete some of his mathematical concepts and the fact that so little is known about him as an artist makes his work all the more intriguing.


Close on the heels of this abstract and carefully crafted art came all the inherited objects of my grandparents and father. Here is a wealth of sentimental objects which tie me down to a time and place all their own. Some are valuable, most are not but all have the ability to make me reconsider my identity, my family connections and the more general concept of cultural identity. I was at once over whelmed by their ordinariness and particular beauty and curios at the intrigue they hold.

By repeating images we merely reinforce a certain set of ideas. However through assimilation and adaptation these disparate influences are able to come together to form a new own dialogue, to show how ideas change and develop through time and can be assimilated into current thinking.

The ideas in Bru’s work are structured but still playful and I find reinterpreting old concepts or objects through this lens completely engaging. Old, painful or out-of-date ideas and feelings change and grow into a new space of colour and movement.

The use of mosaic and newspaper tapestry continue Blake’s fascination with materials and manipulating new mediums in ways which take them past the merely decorative or prosaic. Objects and spaces are reformed, reimagined and abstracted, echoing the frailty of memory but also representing the development of new dialogues, and the assimilation of changing ideas into current thinking.