'Current Materiality'

Habit Forming Behaviour

The exhibition Habit Forming Behaviour brings together several strands of work by Susan Timmins, which she has been investigating over the period of her residency at Crescent Arts.

The exhibition title lends itself particularly to one specific area of work that takes the form of serial projected images. These images immediately seem very familiar. They show domestic interiors, as photographed typically by estate agents for low-resolution digital distribution (with a view to selling properties on their books). The sheer volume and repetitive pace of images presented in slide-show form by the artist calls into question our usual response to such documentation. Where normally we might dismiss most, and instinctively select one or two for further ‘viewing’, there is no such possibility on offer here.

We cannot fail to make subjective comparisons between the interiors shown as we scrutinise the choice of décor, colour scheme, furniture design and arrangement, architectural ‘features’, fittings and so on. Questions of taste might elicit a range of involuntary, often judgemental, responses - noting similarities and differences between our own choices and those shown in this rather functional documentation. As the images accumulate through the viewing, our subjective response translates into more distanced observation forming an inventory of sorts. Thus, the act of viewing a range of seemingly familiar and similar images, as presented by the artist, invites or implicates the viewer in something resembling an anthropological case study.

The three-word exhibition title is suggestive of the artist’s concerns and approaches within her work. These can be characterised as repetition, process and intervention. The element of repetition may exist as activity, image or physical object and is contingent on process and/or intervention. All of these aspects are apparent in a further series of works under the title of ‘Absurd Multiple’. It’s as if the artist is teasing the viewer a little by presenting multiple versions of an object which seems recognisable and to which we can put a name. On closer inspection it eludes straightforward identification.

“Absurd Multiple began randomly, attending a workshop at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, learning the ‘Lost Wax’ process and creating a wax ‘motif’ that will always fail to fulfill its destined process”. - Susan Timmins

‘Absurd Multiple’ exists - so far - as cast object, three-dimensional print and digital image. Each process offers the potential for infinite identical reproduction, yet it will be apparent that each object or image contains individual characteristics and subtle variations. The act of repetition in the production of the work mirrors the habits and routines of human behavior and endeavor. It hints at the absurdities of our individual traits, or innate cultural conditioning, that may be so much a part of habit that we cease to be aware or consider these to be unremarkable.

Stuart Cameron, Director of Crescent Arts