Multiplication is a touring exhibition of artist’s multiples initiated by the British Council’s Visual Arts Department. The works in this exhibition are united by their lack of uniqueness, usually regarded as a prerequisite in a work of art. Many are commissioned works produced by third parties, whilst others are by artists who work solely with the concept of the multiple. In either case the challenge to the artist is in finding ways of realising an idea that can be repeated time and again. Part of the creative challenge comes in researching new methods and sourcing new materials, leading to some unlikely collaborations between artist and fabricators. For example Dan Hays’ lenticular was sourced in Japan and uses some 20 plus lenses to create an illusionistic animal cage. Langlands and Bell have employed the latest Russian laser cutting techniques to create the conundrum of an etched map of airline routes of the world, diamond etched inside a crystal cube.
The exhibition comprises 62 multiples by 46 artists. The works are displayed in plywood cases that slot together in a system designed especially for Multiplication by the artist Sarah Staton. Each work is identifiable by its catalogue number clearly stencilled throughout the exhibition display system. A selection of items from Staton’s celebrated Supastore collection, ranging from her own enlarged sequin to a hand-cut paper scalpel by Simon Periton, have been incorporated in an additional “Wunderkammer”.
The exhibition has been selected with the help of Jacqueline Jefferies from Camden Arts Centre, Sarah Staton and Sally Townsend of The Multiple Store. All the works in the exhibition have been drawn from the British Council Collection, and many were acquired specifically for this exhibition.
A2 Graphic’s design for the accompanying catalogue reflects the concept of the show by steadily increasing the weight of the paper used throughout the 80 pages of the publication. An introductory text by Dr.Stephen Bury, Head of Modern English at The British Library and author of Artists’ Multiples 1935-2000 is included along with 41 tipped-in colour plates and fold-out drawing by Sarah Staton, and statements by the artists.