Friday 26 April 2024

Carol Rhodes: The Deluge & Carol Rhodes: Seen and Unseen






 New Painting Nerds film up on the channel.

This one was a bit special for us, as it screened at the Glasgow School of Art on the 20th April 2024 as part of Carol Rhodes: Scene and Unseen – a symposium co-ordinated in conjunction with the Carol Rhodes estate which sought to encourage the development of new contextual frameworks through which Rhodes’ practice might be engaged with. 



It’s often stated that the flattened visual hierarchies of Carol Rhodes’ aerial perspective pictures represent a shift away from the power dynamics of traditional landscape painting. And while this is entirely true, her work is also deeply embedded in that very landscape tradition.


Carol Rhodes: The Deluge, investigates Rhodes’ complex relationship to landscape painting as it was left to her by artists such as Constable, whose Boat Building near Flatford Mill (c.1815) can be read alternatively as an image of construction and destruction, condemnation and rebirth – a kind of early industrial rethinking of the ‘deluge’ picture.

Rhodes’ 2003 painting, Construction Site, presents a kind of ‘slow’ deluge: stretched out across decades and with a far more expansive consciousness of the landscape across which it’s taking place. Both pictures question how we ‘mark’/shape/damage the world. But what do their very different perspectives (their very differently gendered perspectives) say about our ever-changing relationship to an environment we’re also forever changing?