:: Neil Shawcross ::
Jazz. The word sends some people running out of the room. Some come running in, looking for skins before it ‘gets to the good bit’. For Neil Shawcross, it makes him run to the canvas. J-A-Z-Z. The letters themselves seem to have a life of their own, weighed down or buoyed up by a century of meaning, music and stories. Shawcross has lived with the word all his life – his brothers are jazz musicians – but it was a letter sent by a friend from New York that fired his imagination. The letter's stamp had those four letters writ large across its front. J-A-Z-Z. The free form,colourful style of the work it inspired has all those elements of jazz, including the crucial underlying structure. J-A-Z-Z. Roll the letters around your tongue, and wrap these canvases around your iris. No need for those skins.
Review by Brian Torpey.