Saturday, 10 October 2009


MEANTIME is described as an independent arts platform for the production and presentation of new work, dialogue and exchange, supported by Arts Council England, Arts Development and Virtual Arts Centre at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, and the University of Gloucestershire.

Its entrance, tucked away behind the multiplex cinema, is not promising, but belies a useful first floor space - perhaps the only one of its type in central Cheltenham since the closure of the Axiom. Its occupant/exhibitor these last couple of days has been a young artist, Ben Garrod, with his "Photounrealistic Painting" show.

Ben bafflingly - to me - introduces his work as follows: "Taking a JPG from the MT website, I made it a BMP & using MSP pixelated a section with the simplest resizing operation possible. Thus losing much of the already sparse 411. With an R285 @ BSU it went from RGB to CMYK. & @ the DDC the colours were re-photographed and mixed into the appropriate VM bases. So through the process described above PBW became 15 others, mainly 30BB38037 & 1015R70B with some Martian Skies. This piece is concerned primarily with the creeping dissolution of the space between space & information & is inspired in part by Gregg Egan's PKD award winning novel Permutation City."

What it really seems to amount to is that he's taken part of someone else's digital photograph of MEANTIME's North end wall, blown it up, and painted the resulting pixels as equivalent panels with approximately the same colour in Dulux paint. Ben will correct me, no doubt if I've got quite the wrong end of the stick.

During my visit this morning, the sun shone obligingly in just the way it had done when the original photograph was taken.

Despite Ben saying the process was more important to him than the end result, that was of course all I could judge - and I liked it.

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