Just The Noise, an exhibition by John Ledger gathers together five years’ work, centered around large scale pen drawings; landscapes that depict the human condition pitted against the huge environmental, social and existential threats of the 21st century. ‘A noise that fills everything’, says John.
Outside of the mainstream (Jackson, Ibbsson, Heald et al), John Ledger is one Barnsley’s most prominent artists – his work is also admired by his contemporaries, whether it be painters, sculptors or musicians. It seems that across the divide that is the A616, Sheffield’s arts scene are admirers too. Opening on Saturday 17th May is Just The Noise, a retrospective of sorts, seeing John reflect on five years worth of work and the sociopolitical circumstances that bore them. I spoke to John about the exhibition.
Where did the idea of a retrospective come from?
Well, it’s less of a retrospective of me, and more of an attempt to be a retrospect (if audaciously) of the past five years from the recession onwards, with the intensification of all the issues prior to that point (in my opinion). Hence the image of a head being compressed, etc.
Why do you feel the need to reflect on this period now?
I’m wishing to get all of the main pieces of work from that past five years that I’ve still got my hands on in a room together because I feel it things changed from then onwards, both in my approach to life, but also from the 2008 crash onwards. All the issues were still there before the [economic] crash, but this intensification, which seems to get more and more intense. I wanted to try to use my own work as a documentation of this.
How many works will be exhibited?
Including much smaller works, there will probably be just under fifty pieces in the exhibition
Just the Noise takes place at Gage Gallery, KIAC, The Lion Works, 40 Ball Street, Kelham Island, Sheffield, S3 8DB
And runs from Saturday 17 May – Thursday 22 May 2014