We began looking at visual cognition as both subject and object, most important to the performance practitioner and the painter alike, and in particular the aligned works of the artist Claude Monet as Stanhope Forbes’s contemporary in painting. The perceptive qualities achieved through the brush and its form and technique was our starting point. We saw the potential for the making of a work of art that opened up for an audience and ourselves the question of how the artist’s relationship to the object in light through everyday in life could be extended and performed.

‘Catching the eyes’ of the audience can affect or liberate the spectator or ‘audience’ into making their own departure into the story of perception, historically speaking. The relationship to form and colour, the shift of the retinal picture plane of Impressionism to Cubist reconception of modernist ‘volume’ is presented as part of a perceptual period (of history) within the participatory form.

An accessible key to perceptual understanding is thus our aim, we are looking at how the dissolving picture plane reveals further dimensions, not only for ourselves as artists, but importantly for our audience where an important historical snapshot, or insight into the development of cognition is the result. This idea of participatory knowledge and “looking” as a form of cognitive knowledge resonates with the origins of the era that saw the everyday object controversially brought into the formal gallery space for the delight of the viewer. The question of what the viewer experiences, is detailed in this specific performance as the episodic narrative of the picture plane begins and ends in a fictional encounter: that between the artist and the object as ‘readymade’ materialising before us in the South Gallery within the performance space.

During the period of 2004/5 – 2012/ Jane Whitaker and Ken Turner have been brought together in a professional partnership, integral to new forms ‘productions’ and interrogations, focused through their own backgrounds in education. The manner of this particular partnership is instrumental to the making of the new performance, ‘The Object/s of Light in Perception’. The Plymouth Museum and City Art Gallery will host the event in the museum’s South Gallery on Thursday November 22nd (start time 2pm).

Both Jane and Ken have worked extensively in the UK and abroad. Ken has worked in painting and performance separately and with groups from the 50’s to the present day; most well known for his innovative work within the seminal participatory group ‘Action Space’ that placed the construct of social practice at its heart.

Jane has worked extensively in ‘artist led’ teaching and in the developing significance of Performance Art from the 70’s to the present day. The perceptual movement of ‘Performance’ and the relationship of the historical form is a sustained focus. Jane works as a Senior Lecturer in Performance and Visual Art in the School of Art, Design and Media at the University of Brighton.

Ken is currently completing a book that articulates the original social impact and construct of his own practice, in his continuing work as an artist, educator, relevant to the understanding of historical form/s  







A video of this event can be seen from the link below:


The Object/s of Light in Perception


The brush, as a vital part and parcel of the artists’ ability to create visual integration of thought and action, is the starting point for the first sequence. The brush stroke, is played out in a manner that pushes at both the metaphor of the brush, yet is a serious evocation and “reading” of the seminal essayists’ Gleizes and Metzinger’s collaborative document of the period. The embodiment of the ideas of one large group of painters leading through to 1913 and the development of Cubism is thus portrayed.

The dialogue, or the original essay is performatively restored, as a dynamic vehicle in the discovery of the origins of “Cubism” through the Impressionist approach, and the techniques of the brush.

This visual journey is further integrated into a fictionalised sequence; Stanhope Forbes as the leading light of the Newlyn School joins the artists’ of the Impressionist school, specifically Claude Monet. The narrative thread picks up quickly, as we meet Stanhope Forbes following his crossing to Cancale in the coastal region of Brittany and the expedition to Quimperle, in pursuit of the picturesque subject and style.

Part two takes us through a sequence of perceptive steps advancing through the journey of the artist’s eye, mindful of the imaginative leap and interpretive quality of the projected image, as a moving canvas that catches light, and the component parts of the observation by the artist, of the subject and the object. That is within the subject, as a focal mechanism of Impressionism and the contrasting Newlyn style.

The mobility of movement in light and the focus on the ordinary “object” opened up in Part one thus forms the basis for the development pictorially and thoughtfully for the Cubist form, in its development.

To substantiate this development, through the artist’s eye and imagination, a brief demonstration interjects at the start of Part three of the performance. To accompany the historical realisation of the Cubist form, this is a playful approach for the audience to participate in a personal understanding of the developing consciousness of the period; leading to the complete rendering of the “object” of art as a conceptual subject through the brief, yet vital foray of DADA. The redolent decadent dynamism of the pre and post war avant-garde in European sensibility.

As we near the end of this Performance Art work as a perceptive insight, into the period, the lasting influence of the ‘object of perception’ and its origin in the everyday, the link to the schools of thought identified in parts 1 and 2 are consolidated. The focus shifts to the real object, purchased by Marcel Duchamp on his arrival or escape to New York, USA in 1915 – an ordinary Snow Shovel.


Discursive Workshop

The workshops that will accompany the second part of this project are open to all and as the second full presentation of the Performance Art piece in Prtland. Participants for the workshop and its discursive style of operation are welcomed. The workshops will thus act as a visual and discursive addendum.


Artists of the Newlyn School 1880-1900 Caroline Fox and Francis Greenacre catalogue produced with financial assistance from the ACGB, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Smith, Klein and French Laboratories Ltd ©Newlyn Orion Galleries Ltd. 1979,79,81. ISBN 0 9506579 0 5 - Text for Stanhope Forbes dialogue p., 73 – 79 - PLATE/S A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach Oil on Canvas 473/4 X 61ins Stanhope A Forbes/1885 Plymouth 1964 p., 77. - Cubism Gleizes & Metzinger 1912 from Ten Unabridged Essays Modern Artists On Art edited by Robert L. Herbert ©1964 Prentice Hall, Inc Edgewood Cliffs New Jersey. Spectrum Books Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 64-7568 - Text for the operation of thought and the optical imaging of light through colour, p., 3-4 p., 8, p., 13 - The Sources of Modern Art Jean Cassou, Emile Langui, Nikolaus Pevsner, 52 Colour Plates, 333 black and white plates, 51 line drawings . Thames and Hudson London 1962© Verlag DW Callwey, München 1961. - PLATE/S XV111 Bathers, Les Grandes Baigneuses Paul Cezanne 1900 – 1905 - PLATE XX Jeune fille à la guitare Georges Braque 1913. - PLATE X1X les Demoiselles d’Avignon Pablo Picasso 1907. - Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries Tristan Tzara, illustrations by Francis Picabia, Calder Publications, Fifth impression 2003. ISBN 0 7145 3762 4 - Text for the audience participation demonstration of Cubism p., 6 – 7 - The Essential Cubism Braque, Picasso & their Friends The Tate Gallery ©1983 The Tate Gallery/Douglas Cooper/Gary Tinterow Reprinted 1983 Tate Gallery Publications ISBN 0 905005 24 4 - PLATE/S 111. Self-Portrait, Pablo Picasso 1907 Oil on canvas Národí Galerie Prague 1960 p., 232 - PLATE/S 2. Standing Female Nude, Georges Braque painted between December 1907 and June 1908 Alex Maguy 1972 p., 38 - Marcel Duchamp first published under the Title: Sur Marcel Duchamp in a limited edition of 137 copies by the Trianon Press, Paris. First English edition 1959 Trianon Press 1959© Marcel Duchamp, Robert Lebel, George Heard Hamilton. Colour and monochrome plates printed under Duchamp’s supervision. - Text, Essay, Marcel Duchamp The Creative Act 1959 p.,77 – 78. - PLATES 51, 52 Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel Duchamp 1912 – 1916 - PLATE/S 83 In Advance of the Broken Arm (1915) Selected background reading: and PLATES further sources for the projected images. - Claude Monet: http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/claude-monet/boats-in-the-port-of-le-havre- chronological/retrieved 2012-09-6 - 1883 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/monet/haystacks/ retrieved 2012 -07-10 - Screen shots. Further sources 1872 Sunrise, temporal and atmospheric conditions 1890-91 - http://www.moma.org/modernteachers/ref_pages/set_scene_pics/mai8_img2.html http://www.dada-companion.com/duchamp/readymades.php retrieved 2012-09-6 http://www.toutfait.com/unmaking_the_museum/Shovel.html retrieved 2012-09-6 - Fishing Boats Le Havre 1885 Claude Monet, Saint la Garde Station 1876/77 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet retrieved 2012-11-16

Further reading: workshop - Kandinsky Reminiscences from Ten Unabridged Essays Modern Artists On Art edited by Robert L. Herbert ©1964 Prentice Hall, Inc Edgewood Cliffs New Jersey. Spectrum Books Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 64-7568 - Dada The Revolt of Art, Marc Dachy Thames and Hudson© 2005 ISBN -13 978-0-500-30119-7. - On the Aesthetic Education of Man, Aesthetics for a Social Purpose Friedrich Schiller Dover Publications, Inc New York 2004 first published in 1795 - Aesthetics and its Discontents, Jacques Rancière, Polity Press 2009 - Transfiguration of the Common Place Arthur. C. Danto Harvard University Press 1981 JW November 2012





                Artist’s Statement Jane Whitaker and Ken Turner

                Imaginative Eye, Eye Projects presents a performance:

               ‘The ‘Object/s of Light in Perception’