‘Stroke’ – John Rimmer

26 September 1997 — 16 November 1997

‘Stroke’ is a new series of paintings by Manchester based artist John Rimmer, which seek to reflect his experiences of operating in frenetic city centres and the modern shopping environment.

Initial imagery transcribed from snapshot photographs depicting scenes of activity in hustling Manchester shopping streets and main-line railway stations is used to construct the work and the surface is reiterated through alternating horizontal brushstrokes. The resulting blur forces the viewer to stand back in an attempt to pull into focus the underlying scenes in which lurid pop cartoon characters, sickly Battenburg cakes and fraught pedestrians spatially interweave with the flattening weave of the brushstrokes. Through this abstraction of the original locations into places of movement, disruption and isolation, Rimmer seeks to emphasise the transience of the moment: the presence.

Altered states, similar to those produced through drugs or drink, mental breakdown, fatigue, the absent mind, or in Rimmer’s case, hypoglycaemia are revealed, states which Rimmer suggests are as much part of an ‘objective reality’ as our normal consciousness, for Rimmer sites these new works within the conduit between a person’s mental life and their social being.