CONTENT IN CONTEXT
Graham Day: Selected Works
Introducing the ﬁrst of a series of exhibitions in which artists and craftsmen are invited to show their work within the context of the Afridi Gallery, the shared aesthetic creating an opportunity to discover meaningful connections between objects.
Most of Graham Day’s pieces in this exhibition have not been shown before. The majority are works on paper, and include examples of Day’s fascination with the format of the board game and the Oriental scroll, to which he applies his own skill as a paper-maker to explore their artistic potential. The pieces were selected for their quality of design and mastery of execution, providing a bridge between artist and gallery.
Specialising in antique Oriental and European carpets and twentieth-century design objects, the Afridi Gallery seeks to reveal the unity in diversity that exists between different works of art and craft.
Graham Day was taught by Howard Hodgkin at Bath Academy of Art in the late 1960s, before studying at the Slade School of Fine Art. He graduated in 1973, and subsequently spent thirty-ﬁve years as a lecturer at Bath Spa University College. In 2015, Studio Six Gallery held the fourth of a sequence of retrospective exhibitions, each covering a decade of Graham Day’s work.
During his long career, Day has experimented widely with an eclectic mix of themes and techniques, including the craft of paper marbling. His work is inspired by different cultures and periods, and often reveals literary starting points. The mathematical harmony of geometry and the symbolic value of shapes have also played a important part in Day’s creative process, as he seeks to explore the mystery of ambiguous objects and to reveal their meditative quality. He is fascinated by the ability of widely different objects to infer the same idea or evoke the same emotion, and in particular the power of simple things to express grand themes.
Examples of Graham’s work can be found in several national collections, including the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Private and public collectors alike recognise an intelligent hand at work in Graham Day’s unusual combination of freedom and technical knowledge, in which the material is always servant to the idea.
Having collected and lived with examples of Graham Day’s work for many years, Shahbaz Afridi recognised the potential for a creative collaboration. Cross-cultural synthesis and meaningful juxtapositions are central to the shared aesthetic of Day’s work and the Afridi Gallery. The idea of gallery space as ‘white cube’ is here transformed into a magic cube, in which content and context achieve inﬁnite energy patterns to be explored with the intelligence of the heart.
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