The Courier’s Tragedy / Jesse Ash / Joe Devlin


13th July 6pm - 8pm

Exhibition Continues

14th July - 4th August 2007

Exhibition Opening Times

Weds - Sat,12pm -5pm


The link that is most apparent between the work of Jesse Ash and Joe Devlin in this second exhibition in a continuing series of shows bringing together work by two artists, is the subjective perception/interpretation of ‘authoritative’ text.


  • A Courier's Tragedy, installation image (Joe Devlin)

  • A Courier's Tragedy installation image (Jesse Ash)

Joe is a poet of the margins, his practice as an artist is inseparable from his job as a librarian. As he goes about his daily tasks the raw material for his work is ever present. In his ongoing Dewey Decimal No. series the artist, using carbon paper, redraws the multiple readers’ underlining and other marks found in particular books. The action of representing all the marks found in a single book creates an abstracted, pictorial arrangement akin to blank verse.

In Marginal Dissent (2006) Devlin transfers the handwritten responses that contest the main body of text in every British politics book in his place of work. These expressions of provoked dissent have then been scaled up to create placards that demand a more public attention than their intended private berating. The Classics is Joe’s edition of exclusive household paint mixed using the colour of a ‘dog ear’ as its source. For The Courier’s Tragedy Joe will use the shade of a fragment from Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policemen to paint the exterior gallery doors.

In Collage series. (23.03.07-12.06.07) Jesse presents beautifully intricate collage works, which present the viewer with isolated images from a single, folded sheet of newspaper. Through a process of collagic erasure the subject of each image has been delicately removed reconfiguring the original composition and its intended meaning, revealing backdrops to new scenes and potential narratives.

Ash’s Harmony of the Spheres (2007) is a two-channel video work centred on an interview with astronomer and golfer Jim Collett. The interview questions are removed and the responses edited so as to suggest formal visual links between the individual’s encounters with spheres – one through observation in the infinite distance, the other through physical contact at close proximity. The work uses the shared physical attributes of trajectory, form, impact and gravity to fuse both removed and present experience of objects and events.

Jesse Ash born 1977. 2003 M.A, Painting, The Royal College of Art, London. He is currently working towards a Fine Art PhD on the subject of rumour. He lives and works in London.

Joe Devlin studied Fine Art in Salford and Manchester. Lives and works in Manchester.

The exhibition is accompanied by a commissioned text written by Sally O’Reilly

Joe Devlin and Jesse Ash, Sally O’Reilly