The works of Timothy Crisp are made of glass and are often remarkably small. The smallest being but a few centimeters in size. The images have been formed by the process of scraping away layers of paint from the backside of the glass with a needle in order to produce a sort of negative print, which renders great richness of detail and a peculiar sharpness.
The richness of detail encourages us to come closer and the sharpness draws us even closer still until we find ourselves so close that it almost hurts when looking at them. It is as if we were peering directly at a source of light or had been looking for too long through an optical instrument. An instrument, which in this case, invites us to witness an ongoing interplay of opposites such as memory and oblivion, light and darkness, past and present, truth and deception.
Though often small, Timothy Crisp’s works hold an element of great dimensionality. A tension between the tangibility and sharpness of the images and the fundamental impermanence of what they depict is very clear. In one of the works the landscape has been effectively erased leaving only the solitary lines of longitude and latitude.
The speed at which something appears or disappears varies in Timothy Crisp’s works. Sometimes the process is slow as when an abandoned building begins to decay or when a memory sinks slowly into oblivion. Other times it is considerably faster as in the case of the solar eclipse in one of his works. Everything here, without exception is fading away, no matter how intensely it currently shines.