For John Askew, the act of photography is as much metaphysical as it is physical and tangible an act of both attention and absorption. The photograph may be an image, beautifully seen, simple and enchanting. It may also be a physical and sculptural object. At the heart of the work is a continual response to the perpetual, circular processes of looking, production and editing.
Askew's collected observations also reflect an ongoing idiosyncratic enquiry into the ontology of photography. By drawing attention to the world and its simplicity through the everyday act of seeing, he also calls to our attention the irreducible strangeness of photography and how, one hundred and seventy two years after its invention, its identity remains as intractable and ellusive as ever.
This exhibition puts together a number of interlinking strands from Askews vast body of work including his ongoing series of Archive Selection Sculptures. These originate from editing tables in the artist's studio and a selection from Askew's Three Sisters series - an archive of thousands of photographs taken during the artist's many visits to the Urals in Russia, where he has been visiting the Chulakov family since 1996. The gradual accumulation of images, both attentive and informal, has built up an intimate, though necessarily fugitive portrayal of the family and of Askews, increasingly close friendship with them.