Various States

Toby Paterson

16 June - 17 July 2009

  • Various States

Following a Creative Scotland Award in 2006 Toby Paterson undertook a series of trips to Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria and Estonia, experiencing the empirical reality of cities marked by the residue of historical events. The work included in this exhibition, Various States, results both directly and indirectly from this journey.

Largely inspired by the physical reality of a city or place, Paterson’s work emerges as the result of experience, documentation and interpretation. Focusing on the significance of architecture that has been marginalised in the social landscape, pushed to the extremes of the social and political vista, Paterson’s new work emerges from these margins as an aesthetic and formal discovery embedded in this process.

Whilst central works such as A Miniature (Red and White Pavilion) depict a politically and aesthetically charged semi derelict Coca –Cola kiosk, accompanied by a relief painting on Perspex of the structure, other works, such as two large painted wood reliefs and one in aluminium, become less representational and focus instead on the experiential potential of the cities witnessed at first hand. Sculptural landscapes in their own right they establish a visual interpretation of the physical reality of each place, evoking the tangible abstraction of their architectural forms.

Whilst form is integral to these works, colour is increasingly relevant in others- Nowa Huta Colour Study looks at outlying areas of housing and the painting references emblazoned on their façade. Colour is the mediating factor in a landscape defined by its past, intervening upon and interrupting a sense of stasis and inertia. Paterson's work embodies this latent tension between the everyday and the extraordinary. The relationship of one to the other hints at the opening up of an imaginative space of viewing, expanding and redefining visual horizons.


Very challenging perspectives. Architecturally perfect, Inspirational