Tim Maguire’s exhibition is based on a series of five large oil paintings. The show’s title, Canal, is straightforward, referring to its inspiration and geographical context. The work is site-specific, declaring itself to be in and about a particular place; however, it precipitates thoughtful generalisations. Through Maguire’s work the canal becomes an analogy for our interaction with the world such as the confrontations and impositions that shape our reality.
The show’s title refers to the Hertford Canal, which branches off the Grand Union canal system and runs alongside Chisenhale Gallery. Inaccessible and not visible from inside the gallery, the canal runs immediately behind the long wall on which the series is hung. This wall, like the other walls of this hermetic space, has no windows. In these circumstances the format of the work constitutes a pun on the conventional metaphor of paintings as windows.
Towards the bottom of each painting in this series, breaking the symmetry, are brush strokes that mimic the movement of water. Reflections and refractions are visible such as those that might appear at the base of lock gates just opened or almost closed.
Tim Maguire was born in Chertsey, UK, and received his postgraduate degree at the Sydney College of Arts, Australia (1984). He has exhibited widely both within Australia and in Europe.