Salting the Mirage


08.11.14 - 13.12.14

Sunrise through the palmtrees. On the beach the waves are making art with abandoned belongings, combining them with flotsam from the off-shore trash island. Sun loungers, parasols and cheap Hawaiian shirts are coerced into hybrids, collaged by the currents. The results are promising. But you can’t tell how much it’s worth when it’s all covered in seawater like that.

As they bake out on the sand, the salting becomes apparent – a frontier trick that seasoned mines with gold, silver or uncut diamonds to deceive ambitious prospectors. This to further distort the mirage that manifests desire; an oasis; shade; refreshment. But then anything can be anything when seen by an open mind starved of its vitals. We watch value crystalise on the changing horizon. New pools, old loungers and a margarita floor.

“If you can turn off the mind and look only with the eyes, ultimately everything becomes abstract” Ellsworth Kelly

At SWG3 Dominic Samsworth presents a suite of works that addresses the inherent deception at play in the art making process. He proposes that the creative act often consists of an artist merely convincing the audience of an object’s material worth, fostering an agency in their own illusion. He does this via an inquiry into the aesthetics of leisure, particularly exploring value in a system where the artwork is an accepted industry tool.

Mimicking the vernacular of big-boy abstraction, Samsworth’s canvases derive their form from off-the-peg swimming pool designs. The works present the subjects themselves, alone and out of context within their own perimeters. Each design – an expression of the prospective owner’s individuality – marketed as unique.

Dominic Samsworth (b. 1987, Wiltshire, UK) lives and works in Hereford. He studied at Glasgow School of Art. Solo exhibitions include Floridian Gut, MonCHÉRI, Brussels (2014); Resort Schweinerei, Jan Kaps Galerie, Cologne (2014); Marooned On Trash Island, Still House, New York (2014). Group exhibitions include MonCHERI, Brussels (2014); David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (2011); The Duchy Gallery, Glasgow (2010). Salting the Mirage is Samsworth’s first UK solo exhibition.