In 'Pestilence, I Cast Thee Out' a floating pink curtain billows out from an open apartment window into a darkened sky, perhaps shaking out something unwanted into the ether. That, or it is saluting a loved one as they disappear over the horizon.
In What Gives, Stuart Spence examines the critical millisecond when something changes, or is just be about to.
The moment when something is both given and taken away.
What Gives is a collection of brooding cloudscapes, lost children, clinging lovers and wall flower cops. People, places, elements all on edge. The images speak low and slowly of crucial moments.
In This Is Not What You Want to Hear a dimly lit fortune teller delivers her unwanted forecast with grim resolve. Perhaps getting a bad job done, perhaps sadistically revelling in a dark disclosure.
But Not Forgotten shows an older man quietly pursued by a single white swan, the persistence of a tender memory, perhaps.
In Take My Hand, Sun, Just This Once, a child reaches imploringly into a vanishing sunset, desperate to catch a fast disappearing hope, maybe just urging a wave not to throw itself onto the shore.
Spence sets nothing up for these images, instead preferring to work instinctively. He sees, stops thinking, and shoots. He trusts his instincts, allowing stories to emerge in their own good time and place. It is not an easy road. Serendipity can be a shy co-creator; some days the artist walks home with a swag of delightful new surprises, others a bag of zip.
Thus is the peculiar nature of Stuart Spence's art form, how he tells his unique stories relying heavily on what gives.