DOC ROSS – The uncontrollable chaos of life – 18 June-13 July,2018


‘It was the hottest September day ever recorded in the UK. The balcony of my London flat overlooked Shadwell Basin (an old tobacco dock just off the Thames in East London) and as the steamy late afternoon arrived so did the throngs of people seeking relief from it. The crowd slowly grew, swimming, sunning, drinking, chatting, and then another smaller crowd, not there to sun or swim but to watch the theatre. From a distance such as I was to the crowd the people appeared as just shapes, together conveying somewhat an expression of both the chaos and calm of life.

I had been looking at a lot of renaissance paintings at the time and could easily imagine Canaletto painting the scene. Peering closer in to my photographs the millions of tiny sharp pixels from a distance blend together to appear as a smooth out of focus yet identifiable image. Much like the pointilism of a Seurat painting where the tiny juxtaposed dots of multi-colored paint allow the viewer’s eye to blend colours optically, rather than having the colours physically blended on the canvas. And like the Seurat painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte the people became everybody and nobody. Just a moment in time.’

Doc Ross

The works in this exhibition are details from much larger photographs Doc Ross took looking across the Thames on the day described above. The figures were tiny to the human eye however when greatly enlarged as presented here they became events with a life of their own seperate from the overall scene.

The five images above are printed as unique works in large format with archival pigments, mounted onto board then varnished. The following three are archival prints on paper in an edition of 5.