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April is the cruellest month, breeding
Becky Beasley, Two Slopes, Gelatin silver print, 2007

Two Figures in Dense Violet Night

Becky Beasley
Over four consecutive weekends, four conversations will take place.
Each weekend a conversation between two artists and two artworks.
With Michael Dean, Anne Hardy, Claire Scanlon & John Stezaker.

27th August - 18th September 2011

Works and conversations between:

Becky Beasley & Anne Hardy
27 - 28 August

Becky Beasley & Michael Dean
3 - 4 September

Becky Beasley & Claire Scanlon
10 - 11 September

Becky Beasley & John Stezaker
17 - 18 September

Saturdays 2 - 8pm / Sundays 12 - 5pm

Each exhibition opens on Saturday at 2pm with the artists in conversation at 5pm, followed by drinks. Each exhibition finishes at 5pm on Sunday.

Each week the guest artist will be invited to open or close the conversation by reading the poem Two Figures in Dense Violet Night by Wallace Stevens

All events are free.

An Introduction by Becky Beasley.

Two Figures in Dense Violet Night is a poem by Wallace Stevens, first published in 1923 in his collection, Harmonium.

A conversation is not an opaque thing. Between two figures, particularly those who have spoken previously, always briefly, from time to time, it gradually becomes a uniquely intimate space, not only of language but also of that which cannot be said, in which - with the extended time which this weekend invitation to St Leonards allows - language has the potential to become more transparent and, in that clarity, for new thoughts, live and aloud.

Claire was my first tutor. I was thrilled when she read my early writing in her own time and I had my first real conversations with her. She introduced me to Maurice Blanchot's writing in 1995. I read his fiction and non-fiction simultaneously and understood them as being essentially the same. Anne and I both studied in the same department at the Royal College of Art, but were a few years apart. When we first met, some years later, we only knew each other by our work, which is one perfect way to begin. John was still teaching at the Royal College while I was studying there. He didn't teach me directly. We met over some of my work during college exhibitions and, during occasional conversations, discovered we shared an interest in black & white and certain texts by Maurice Blanchot. Michael and I met by chance a few times and our momentary conversations were always unlike any other. After this had happened a few times, I contacted him and we agreed to do a project together in 2010, which became the exhibition Our Blindsides at Laura Bartlett Gallery in London. It was exactly as much about making time to spend together as it is about making an exhibition. Michael and I have not had the chance to meet since then, until now. In many ways, Our Blindsides was a model for now. For Two Figures in Dense Violet Night.

Two Figures in Dense Violet Night brings together works and nascent friendships in equal measure; not too much work to allow one to consider this an exhibition with a conversation, nor too little for the opposite. Each weekend will bring with it a new visitor to the space, with new works, a new conversation. And so, in this way, nothing will remain the same. I hope you will return more than once.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a library of books selected by the artists for the use of gallery visitors. This library will grow as the project progresses.