Tom French is proud to present a new exhibition of work – PARALLAX – at Unit London. Parallax is the apparent displacement— or difference in the apparent position — of an object caused by a change in the position from which it is viewed, and in this exhibition Tom’s work explores the literal, metaphorical and metaphysical manifestations of perspective and visual perception. This new body of work is a natural evolution from Tom’s last series ‘Duality’, which used illusion and double images to explore similar concepts. Tom’s works are always driven by underlying narrative; a story can take on a myriad of different meanings when observed from different perspectives, just as an image is defined positionally, or even subjectively in the mind of a viewer; to paraphrase Lacan’s thesis “I am not simply the punctiform located at the point from which perspective is grasped. No doubt, in the depths of my eye, the picture is painted. The picture, certainly, is in my eye. But I, I am in the picture.” In these latest works, Tom presents snatches of figures, preserved in oils with photographic clarity, and suspended within the ambiguity of abstract forms and free-flowing brushwork, reflecting a psychological rather than material space. A synthesis of snapshots, a free-form chronophotography that substitutes shifting perspectives for motion, these fragments of characters are representative of the way we perceive, visually. When looking at a figure, we do not see it as a whole; our eye moves around, shifting focus onto various points of interest, building up a sensory collage from many images that are ordered and rationalised by the brain. Tom’s works chart that mental landscape, the permutational narratives of the visual cortex: the stories told at the shadowy junction of the conscious and unconscious mind.
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