James Ford: Zero Expectations

March 31st 2011




Whether it is a nadir of creativity or exhaustion from repetition, every artist will at some point feel tongue-tied and tired. For most it typifies a period of reduced creative output, but for James Ford it has more than once formed the basis of a body of work. Be it origami or a household chore it is in the distractions of everyday life that ideas are born.

'Tongue-Tied and Tired' is the series of drawings included in Ford’s exhibition at Peloton Zero Expectations. Tongue twisters and alliterations form infinite loops, starting from Escher’s trefoil knot and increasing in complexity; they all share the property of having neither end nor beginning. With each work done in Fineliner pen Ford retains an astonishing amount of consistency throughout the series. The words are all equally sized and spaced and the ink never deteriorates, making it difficult to see where each began, and impossible to believe that he ever gets tongue-tied or tired.

There’s a funny tension created in the works. As you look at them you begin to recite the tongue twisters, moving your head to follow the loops, ultimately never getting anywhere. But unlike some art that has the pretence of a complex idea hidden behind an even more complicated wall text, having zero expectations is encouraged. There is little reward for following the loops to eternity and no amount of repetition will lead the viewer to the secret that the knot hides, as the knot is the secret itself.

James R Ford Zero Expectations is on at Peloton from the 31st of March to the 21st of April. Opening 6-8pm Thursday 31 March.


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