Dexter Dymoke‘s plywood, paint and hardware sculpture ‘Rollo’ may or may not be named after the Viking warrior of the same title. It does, however, share some commonly obscure origins with its Nordic namesake. Rollo is a name synonymous among medieval historians as a figure of divergent and debatable lineage. His legend has shape shifted through the ages as new civilizations were formed and dialects established; a prime example of how language, symbols and the stories we share are filtered and often distorted through subjective processes. Dymokes’ first solo show at Nettie Horn’s new Fitzrovia premises, engages with a classical sculptural lexicon but in a very distinct vernacular that is open for interpretation.
The A Rain of Stars exhibition comprises nine exquisitely crafted pieces in a body of work made to furnish a gallery. That is to say, they seem to have been produced in complete sympathy with the space and the bodies that move through it. The floor and wall based creations are neatly human sized, placed in such a way that prompts a physical dialogue between the object and the viewer navigating a way through the room.
Upon entering the gallery we first encounter ‘Rollo’s’ biomorphic form lying on the floor. Part industrial pipe, part gnarly tree limb this is a missing conduit from a greater framework that we can only guess at. Beyond this is another broken loop entitled ‘Marinade’, which has a single sweeping –never re-connecting- band of silver aluminium, joining essentially disparate made and found objects. One is inclined to read Dymokes’ ambiguous assemblages as they would a sentence; the eye is led through a sequence of shapes and textures… travelling, jarring and all the while playing.
On the far wall is the simple and elegant contrast of ‘Flume’, utilizing the more familiar interior language of florescent tubing and draped fabric. A line of light, interrupted and seemingly bent by the vertical pull of heavy cloth, again explores patterns of striation, of cyclical flow and broken narrative. While works such as ‘You send me’ and ‘Oeuvre’ are more complete and operate within their own infinite feed, they too appear arrived at through some leap of faith.
Dymokes’ sculptures have an insatiable optimism in their ability to communicate. They suggest, similar to the many and varied historical accounts of Rollo the Viking, that even when our line of understanding is broken and we lose part of the story, we will be able to piece the fragments together and make our own connections. What is clear is that Dexter Dymoke listens to his materials and responds with conviction.
Dexter Dymokes’ A Rain Of Stars presented by Nettie Horn Gallery runs 7 July to 12 August 2012.