Ali Smith, The Play of Thought

Ali Smith, The Play of Thought

What would the play of thought look like, if we could see thought? Sarah Pickstone’s park pictures are a versatile and liberating act, a meld of vision and thought come together into an embodiment of both.

They take what we think we recognise or already know – landscape, portrait – and by means of fusion and metamorphosis redefine and revitalise both. Her device, an investigation of the image of the writer in nature, particularly of the writers who've happened to pass through one particular green London landscape over the course of several centuries, or of one green landscape through which so much cultural thought, invention and creativity has by both chance and design passed, actually banishes time, redraws notions of fertility and uncircumscribes fixity of both image and expectation.

It’s an act of transformation with an eye to the place where lifeforce meets the thinking eye itself. It’s a body of work galvanised by the fluidity of the mind and the symmetry connected to reflection. It's a simultaneous re-creation and understanding of psychological, diachronic and geographical space, and a defying of the borders between them. These paintings, lit by their own leafy syntax, by a deep sourced and communal imagination, fuse the mind, art, nature and the thinking spirit into an affirmation as big and unfussed as a sky.

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  • 2004