In her studio The Jam Factory, on the Dorset/Devon border, artist Gail Sagman decided that it was time to take stock. The process turned out to be no small task as it involved exposing 35 years of paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, installations, travel and theatre pieces.
The initial prompt had been simply the desire to make the works available for people to take the stock away, should they wish. It transpired that her most pressing need was to assess her exploration of a subject that throughout the years, she had at times perceived at best, as strange in its compunction, at worst, obsessive.
The result is a massive exhibition of art works in all sizes, materials and forms, creating a labyrinth that is not difficult to navigate. An insight into Gail’s particular journey through what she terms ‘the rather dry topic, of the language of painting etc.’ provides the thread.
Amongst the rectangular and shaped hanging pieces, works on the floor and ceiling are a series of 57 books. Each one of these is comprised of 12 or 13 pages (each page, a painted canvas) with sheets of relevant writing and photographs from her 57 years slotted between them. The book titles all refer to elements of examination within the work practice. The pages are sold separately, in order for people to compile their ‘own book’.
This is an exhibition that poses analytical questions should you wish to go there, and if not, provides a visual delight in any case.
Visiting The Jam Factory in it’s stunning rural setting and entering into its other worldliness is a must for visitors to the area. Gail is always happy to see people and answer any questions with a cup of tea.