Interested in the hinterland between Science and Art, John Wright's practice revolves around a number of questions: What is the relationship between the 'event' and the gallery response? What is the relationship between perception of the viewer, the work and the artist? What is the relationship between narrative and documentation in contemporary art practice?
The focus of Wright’s work could be categorized as an exploration of the relationship between the videoed event and the gallery response. The concept at the heart of his practice is that of energy in reactions, the constant change and fluidity through transmission from one state to another. This concept has led Wright to utilize quite natural phenomena such as fire and ice in the process of creating oeuvres.
Creating a series of videoed experiments using combinations of Ice, Potassium Permanganate, Glycerin and Bismuth is Wright's starting point, akin to drawing. These materials are key to his work as they relate to his concept of energy change in reactions. The ephemeral quality of these materials is a constant issue when dealing with this narrative. Capturing these experiments is a key issue in his practice.
'I have found that the motion properties of video enable this over other mediums. In turn this has led to a duality in my practice between the video and how I articulate it in the gallery space.' Wright 2012
Certain forms have manifested in Wright's practice particularly through the progression into installation work. These structures inform both the video element and the response. The sphere and the cube have become prevalent throughout and increasingly other shapes that belong to these quite primary shapes have evolved. The connotations that each viewer will bring to these forms is partly the reason why he is using them as visual stimulants. The freedom to relate to his work with individual perception is key to creating an emotive response.
The video as ‘documentation’ relates to Wright's contextual and theoretical studies as he has posed the argument that documentation is in fact just another form of narrative. This informes his practice because the paradigm that he is concerned with is Critical Realism. This hypothesis stipulates human perception is always manipulating secondary sense data of which all documentation we can create falls under.
'Thus applied to my practice the video becomes as vital as the response. I see these as one entity that can create a sense of an event through a controlled environment.' Wright 2011
Lighting is a vital aspect to Wright's practice. Interested in the way materials that are transparent and translucent interact with light. The deep shadows and brilliant highlights of the chiaroscuro technique, more commonly seen in painting, create focus upon specific elements in the compositions of his videos and subsequent installations.
The combination of video within the gallery installation has revolutionized his practice. It has created a phantasmagorical essence to my aesthetic, and has freed up his practice in the sense that the materials he works with have begun to mold into his responses have become as wide-ranging as perspex to resin. In effect this development has allowed Wright to consider the relationship between the materials used in the video and that of the response. There is a correlation between properties of these materials i.e. translucence’s and the ethereal.
‘Materials I implement in my experiments have almost gained a counterpart in my installations, the most obvious being ice and perspex.' Wright 2012 …Read More