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A Response to 'Benjamin Fitton: Aspirational Bucolics' by Tom Bland

Tom Bland writes a response to the exhibition Aspirational Bucolics by Benjamin Fitton at LUNGLEY Gallery, London which ran from 20th January 2023 - 25th February 2023.

I went off one morning to visit a few galleries

A grey January day in London

I have to say that I was so taken by Fitton’s show

(The other ones went their way)

One might have said ‘seriousness’ because it is very precise;

Very carefully orchestrated, but it is also funny;

There is an excellent sense of humour in this work;

And the serious and studied awareness of art in all the corners that are present to us;

But are not always picked out and observed.

I was so happy to be there with work that was thinking, allowing, friendly and knowing

It’s not very often one walks into a space and feels one is being given something.

The last time that happened to me was in Milan when I came round a corner and saw

Works by Jannis Kounellis and then again the same generous feeling in two works by Manzoni.

Before that other works in other places which are made with a similar capacity to shift

The mind as though from a non-space, a nowhere that is nevertheless there

With the same sense of precision.

This takes a life spent dedicated to things that are not obvious

But are there all the time.

There is something very human about that;

About the idea of a clumsiness that becomes the means,

Or a passing thought that becomes as potent as a powerful scientific formula.

Where does the thought come from…?

Ducks, quack, quack, stuck outside on a rainy windowsill

Inside the plaster speaks of distant things, evoking stuff in your memory

Or misty parts you are not sure of

Perhaps these thoughts are held by the carefully placed blue clamps

Framing the back of the ‘wall’ works, standing like an old Master on an easel

Or maybe the rubber gloves, gardening or trade gloves have become somehow duck-like

From Monet to passing clouds, thoughts drifting, are you here? Says a spectre ghost

Somewhere in the reading, literary or walking round a large gallery full of oil paintings of the bucolic

Sinking and the lifted out, given a voice, all ethereal…then quack, quack and back to the rain, London

What a treat! This is where we are now it seems to say,

But it’s not certain and there is something enrichingly uplifting in that.

London, 27.1.23.

Images courtesy Benjamin Fitton and LUNGLEY Gallery.


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