An unknown figure stands in a motionless waterway, sheltering his senses from the outside world. Darkened moss clings to damp rocks, framing an isolated man. Aesthetica Art Prize longlisted artist Lottie Davies (b. 1971) recreates the fictional journey of William Henry Quinn – a character deeply affected by the events of WWII. Moving across lush British countryside, muddied footpaths and desolate waterways, Quinn: A Journey asks whether redemption can be found when hope is lost.
The large, multimedia project is installed at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry. It combines nine moving images, 18 large format photographs and an amalgamation of text and ephemera, placed in a linear sequence. The exhibition encourages viewers to move across the space slowly, creating an arena for contemplation. Themes of grief, loss and loneliness are central to the piece, querying how meaning can be found post-trauma.
The simultaneous act of reading text and processing images examines the importance of personal perception and independent thought across literature and cinema. Audiences draw on identity and personal experiences to create their own interpretations of the story. As each visitor draws an individual moral from the tale, the original narrative continues to exist, unaltered.
Lottie Davies is speaking at the Aesthetica Future Now Symposium 2020 on 12 March as part of a panel discussion titled What is the Power of a Photograph? Find out more here.
Quinn: A Journey is open from 14 February – 31 May. Find out more here.
Images: Lottie Davies, Untitled from the series Quinn © Lottie Davies