Martha Townsend

Twelve slate pieces travel across the walls and floor of the gallery space, defying or obeying gravity as they go. The slate works are complemented by a set of drawings, two slim ash laths, and a group of wooden cubes on a base.

In keeping with my attraction to simple and symmetrical geometric forms, all of the works are based on the circle or the square. I find solace in these orderly shapes, even as their dark and heavy material presence is sombre and unsettling.

The concept for this exhibition arose partly by chance and partly by design. A sheaf of Saint-Armand paper and a Conté pencil lay ready for use, when my desire to draw a circle and a square on the same page brought Malevich to mind. He stayed for the duration. The seriousness, even the severity of the Russian artist’s work is counterbalanced with humour and a touch of the absurd, especially in his “cosmic” installation of paintings in 1915.

It is the combination of gravity and levity that I seek to embody with the works and their unfolding in the space of the present exhibition.