Keith Tyson: Turn Back Now
28 January – 4 June 2017
A display of the studio wall drawings that the artist has produced over the last 20 years.
Keith Tyson first started producing wall drawings in 1997 when he was sharing a studio in East London with four other artists. Limited on floor space, he would scribble down his notes, ideas and sketches on a watercolour sheet pinned to the wall and then, when it got full, he'd take it down and discard it in the corner of the room.
Describing them as 'somewhere between a sketchbook, a journal, a poem and a painting', Tyson never meant them for public display and so would work without inhibition, simply attempting to give visual form to his thoughts and ideas. Over time he began to think of these as works of art in their own right, and would record world events as well as personal ones. Economic uncertainty, acts of terrorism, the birth of his children and a psychotic episode are among the range of triggers for his drawings.
In 2000 the late curator Harald Szeeman visited the studio and looked through the pile of discarded drawings. He was so impressed he asked Tyson if he could show some of them at the Venice Biennale. It was this exhibition that established the studio drawings as a part of the artist's practice.
On display in Hastings are some of these intriguing works, many of which have never been shown in public before. Shown together they reveal how the art