"Two men walked up onto the moor together where they had been before as children. At the time they had raced each other, tumbling down the hill happy and carefree, now returning as adults in early April with the season on the turn, the moor is still bleak in its winter state, carpeted by a carcass of last year's ferns. This landscape supports very little life; the contour of the land defined itself during the last ice age as it melted, pushing boulder and rock to the side. The place is Ilkley moor, and they have returned here as their mum had taken them on a Sunday, singing a folk song in the car on the way to the tune of Ilkley moor bartat.
Inscribed on the Cow and Calf, a large rock formation, are the names of people chiselled into the stone, graffiti from the 17th century. They wander the moor for a day then head back into the town to return the next day with tools to carve their own - this one dedicated to their mother Maggie. Below is the family name FRYER, they both knew the significance of their carving, as the man in the DIY tool shop also had his suspicion, it could be construed as them marking their own grave."
In his first solo show at Trolley Gallery David Fryer presents an examination of death, memory, pain and love. The installation of a heart-beating rock cast in resin pulsates in a room surrounded by drawings and paintings echoing a personal loss, whilst a wax heart drips slowly from above. Around the rock, thousands of pins demonstrate the shiny edges of the surrounding ferns, the scattering of ashes, and the pain of memory. Each individual part, in their different mediums, unite to lead our thoughts to a broader universal sense of grief and memory.
In death you place everything you are in one place and leave it behind for others to rummage through, and take what they want from the detritus of life. A single starting point in David Fryer's life was when he experienced the death of his father at the age of 13. At the age of 16 he didn't know what he wanted to be, as he could no longer follow his father's profession. Gaining a passport as an adult, he had to define his occupation in the space provided. Not knowing what to write he asked his brother, who took one look at him and wrote 'artist' in the space provided. Now 42, he is the age their father was when he died, outliving his father to begin a new life perceived without reference to the past.
In cowboy movies, heroes and villains would fight it out in a secluded spot, one shooting to kill the other just before dying himself. In the same way the camera was on the moor with them, as they faced their own mortality.
David Fryer studied Textiles at Goldsmiths and Design at the Royal College of Art. This is his first solo show at Trolley Gallery following 'The Circle of Dead Grass Where the Circus Used to Be' with Sean Flynn and Robert Montgomery in January 2006.
Until 17 May
73A Redchurch Street
London E2 7DJ
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