Tarka Kings: Still is Still Moving

24 May - 20 June 2018

Offer Waterman is delighted to announce Still is Still Moving an exhibition of more than 20 new works on paper by celebrated British artist Tarka Kings. Kings work has been exhibited to international acclaim at venues including the Royal Academy and Chatsworth House and is held in many private collections including Paul Allen, the Duke of Devonshire, Susanne Kapoor, Jacob Rothschild and Maggie's Centre. Still is Still Moving is Kings first exhibition at Offer Waterman.

A graduate of the R.A. schools, Kings has worked exclusively in graphite and coloured pencil since 2008, creating detailed drawings which are the result of close and contemplative observation. Imbued with subtlety and a true mastery of her chosen medium, her drawings convey an intimate sense of time and place, distilled from light and texture - they are also that rare thing in contemporary art - unashamedly beautiful. The author Cressida Connolly eloquently describes the seductive appeal of Kings work:

'Her drawings are so delicate and precise, they have a stillness and an openness that invites the viewer in. So little in contemporary art has that real beauty... and so people can't help but respond.'

*Interview with Rachel Campbell Jonson - Vogue, May 2013

Drawing has historically been chosen by artists as the medium of immediacy; a direct visual language with unparalleled capacity to translate and communicate the physical experience of looking. In Kings art, drawing is a flowing, rhythmic, conversational encounter akin to poetry - a sense heightened by her occasional, enigmatic use of text; the seeming handwritten note of 'Just gone' or the looping musing of 'sometimes nothing rhymes ...' Untitled (2017).

Words and pictures are all part of an almost cinematic approach to relay quiet truths and emotional experience; Kings states, 'to me, drawing - like language, is a way of translating and communicating interior experience'. Kings' visual world exists both in the close detail of textures, relayed through careful mark-making - and the deliberate void; the empty white space of paper left untouched. She explains; 'Language works on many levels; formally, rhythmically, structurally, emotionally and by what is left out. So too does drawing; individual marks, flow, balance, meaning and again - what is left out.'

There is also a sense of closeness and familiarity in the exchange between subject and viewer - the dreamy, youthful gaze of Lily (2017) or the awkward, almost uncomfortable adolescent pinned like a butterfly in Untitled (2017). Kings is elusive in her designation of these sitters; they are friends, family and strangers, 'both uncomfortable and benign, condensed into a constrained space as in a short story'.

Finally, Kings sitters are also part of an abstract pictorial pattern woven into the drawings which make us vividly aware of the act of seeing and of mark-making; the zig-zag of light glancing from the red hair in Pheobe and Zig-Zag (2017) or the square screen which reveals the sleeping girl in School Girl (2017). We are but a small step away from the more obviously abstract green, black and white verticals presented in some of Kings recent works.

Kings describes her drawing as an 'unspoken dialect for a paradoxical world', her art presenting us with a world where the artist's unflinching and intelligent gaze allows us to take in the fleeting essence of her subject.