The Oxford-based artists of PORTABLE Collective have responded to the single word “Fracture”, incorporating their eclectic practices within the gallery space of The Old Fire Station to explore and question its meaning and influence within their work and the wider world. 

John A. Blythe’s experimental photography takes as its starting point an interest in the materiality of the medium, fracturing away from historical assumptions of photography as a recorder of external imagery, to shift the focus towards the process itself.

Mark Clay employs drawing amongst other mediums in his practice. “Perhaps we live in a ‘broken’ society and a ‘fractured’ world…there has always been injustice, uncertainty and points of tension that can ultimately accumulate to the point where the faultlines break open and damage is done. But when things fall apart it offers us an opportunity to see things anew and understand.” 

Anne Griffiths’s practice revolves around the museological tasks of collection, categorisation and display. For FRACTURE!, the artist has created works with a focus on restoration or repair. Linking to the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi, the viewer is invited to consider the life of an object and to value the broken and imperfect for exactly what it is. 

The printed and projected works of Zelga Miller represent something of the unease inherent in the human condition. “Fracture represents a place and a time, an emotion that I want to move away from; my visceral reaction that suggests movement and transition from what was ‘broken’ towards something more solid.” 

Childhood toys and ephemera are re-purposed by Miranda Miller in her mixed media pieces to explore the psychological fracture within oneself. “The work is an exploration of the fractured self which is sometimes painful and difficult to look at, but, I believe necessary to be able to repair and heal.”

Painter Jeremy Morgan sees the contemporary world as an “Interim between consensus and an individualised ‘on-demand’ culture”, his abstract works are ambivalent responses to this fluid situation, and incorporate instability and compositional fractures between elements as they negotiate with each other. 

Responding to the transient dynamics of shadow around the Old Fire Station, Sarah Wills-Brown has created a series of art-objects which both reflect and fracture the architectural space of the gallery. “Reflections are cast and shadows appear, allowing these divided elements to rebuild these fractured forms, offering the possibility to explore or dream of new spaces.”

Join us on Friday 25 February from 7 – 9pm, to celebrate the exhibition with a closing finissage event. RSVP here.


Break It To Make It
Saturday 29 January, 10am – 12.30pm
A workshop that uses different methods and approaches to drawing to explore the idea of “Fracture”. These include graphical and other explorations of disassembly, reassembly, rebuilding and repair.
Book now.

Saturday 19 February, 10am – 12.30pm
Join members of PORTABLE Collective for a fun and fast-moving workshop which explores the creative potential of change using collage and mixed media!
Book now.