Whether working on a sculpture, film or live event, Abigail Reynolds uses a process based on collage, bringing found materials into new contexts. The Universal Now is an ongoing body of work created by splicing together photographs of a place, taken from the same angle by different photographers, often decades apart. The title of the series is derived from a discussion among physicists, especially astrophysicists, about the elasticity of time. The debate as to whether the idea of ‘now’ has any meaning interests the artist in terms of the partial nature of time in science, but also our lived experience of time, which is so limited.
In 2020 (while unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic) Reynolds began a period of research based on the secondhand books she had collected in order to learn more about Penwith, where she lives in the far west of Cornwall. From these books, she created a series of works depicting local sites including The Minack Theatre, Land’s End and St. Michael’s Mount. These are backed onto marbled papers traditionally used as endpapers for hardback books. The artist sees photographs as a method of time travel. In each work, the time of the two shutters opening to allow in the light is present, as is the moment of the viewer looking. Reynolds meticulously cuts and folds the images onto themselves, so that the paper images become a sculpture, rendering both moments in time as simultaneously present.
- Artwork Details: Framed size: 43 x 33 x 4.5cm
- Material description: Cut and folded book pages
- Credit line: © the artist. Image courtesy of the artist
- Medium: Collage
- Accession number: ACC11/2020