Exhibition, Maidstone Museum, Bentlif Art Gallery, May to June 2016

'Unreality n.01', by Claire Manning
‘Unreality n.01’, by Claire Manning

TIME, Maidstone Museum, St Faith’s Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1LH, 14th May to 25th June 2016

A new piece of my collage work, Unreality n.01, is on show in this Making Art Work group exhibition in the lovely Bentlif gallery space in Maidstone Museum. To whet your appetite, here’s a detailed shot of the piece installed.


My collage captures something of the experience of making a train journey. It takes fragments from different places seen along the route, displacing them from where they belong. The final collage forces disparate events together and compresses time. It offers a vision that lies somewhere between beauty and dystopia, capturing ephemeral possibilities that contain a hint of truth.

The railway network is vital for travel but it’s a barren environment empty of any significant sense of history. It pushes those using it towards a state of solitary individuality discouraging them from meaningful interaction with other travellers encountered along the way.  These passive passengers are caught in the liminal space between the start and end of their trips, making journeys that contain a series of fleeting, temporary and ephemeral experiences.

The two images in the collage are both stills taken from my film In search of the unreal n.01. They’re shot using an everyday mobile phone camera and, superficially what’s been captured has the passive perfection of theatrical stills. However, the final assembled collage resists a controlling, patriarchal gaze by offering views that are incomplete and disrupted. This blocks possession of passive perfection, denying pleasure and shifting the experience of viewing towards frustration and anxiety.

The collage is a limited edition of 12, printed on Somerset paper using Epson Ultrachrome inks and is mounted on glass. Unframed overall dimensions 53cms x 37.5cms x about 5cms deep.  One print is folded by hand to take 3-dimensional form. Email Claire Manning at clairemanningart@yahoo.co.uk for more details or to buy.


‘Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart’s desire.’ (John Dewey). TIME invites you on a journey that explores the past, present and future of our history, memory and reality. Over 20 Kent-based artists offer a dynamic range of work that questions the nature of time.

The show can be viewed from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm, Sundays 12:00pm to 4:00pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.

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