Galería Elvira González will open on 31 October Inside Out: Outside In, the third solo exhibition at the gallery by artist Roger Ackling (Isleworth, United Kingdom, 1947), and the 170th solo show in his career. The show will feature some sixty recently produced small-scale pieces.
Roger Acklington has been creating his works using the same method for more than forty years. Using a small hand-held magnifying glass, he concentrates sunlight on pieces of wood which he comes across as he strolls through the countryside. The technique leaves a pattern of furrows and shapes burnt into the surface of the wood by the beam of light. It is, then, solar energy which creates a relief design on wood, which has had some previous use, and then been discarded.
The artist works in direct contact with nature, rather than in a studio. Alone, sitting on the bare ground, with the sun at his back, holding in his left hand the piece of wood and in his right the magnifying glass, focusing only on his work, no thoughts fill his mind, the outside world ceases to be present. It is in this solitary and unique moment that he enters into direct contact with his work, imbuing it with existence.
"You could say that I work with light," explained Ackling himself in an interview which he gave in 2007 to designer Gabi Bolton. "I am not interested in using colour; it is more a question of light and dark". For this line of work, then, the artist chose the pieces of wood which he began to gather and work, "as if they were playthings, so I could later say I was 'burning' a painting".
Roger Ackling belongs to the generation of artists who graduated from St Martin's School of Art in London in the sixties. Along with his contemporaries and friends Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, among others, they made up a generation which aimed to take art out of the studio. For them sculpture could be anything they wanted: a walk in the country, a bicycle trip across France or, as in the case of Ackling, a small piece of wood marked by the sun.