Chris Dobrowolski: Escape

Please note this exhibition runs: 2 - 23 October 2015

‘When I was an art student, over twenty years ago, I remember one statement from a visiting lecturer in particular that changed my practice. It went something along the lines of: “At art college you are merely learning the visual language. The problem is you are all so young that  you have very little life experience and therefore have nothing worth saying”.

It was this put-down mixed with disillusionment and homesickness that led me to make a boat out of driftwood and try to escape from art college in it (‘Seascape Escape’). My logic was that it would be ‘visual language’ and personal life experience all rolled into one.

I was at art college in Hull so the first obstacle was the river Humber, one of the most dangerous river estuaries in Europe. Needless to say the project ended in disaster and I had to be rescued by a tug boat as we were swept off downstream past the docks on a 5 knot spring tide.

I subsequently built several vehicles, each one allowing me to escape in different ways.  Apart from the boat; which was burnt on the insistence of a very irate river Humber harbour master, all of these vehicles still exist.

Given the opportunity to have a solo show at Wimbledon Space, I have chosen to revisit this body of work. I felt there was an interesting poetic irony in bringing these vehicles back into an art college’.
Chris Dobrowolski, July 2015


Image credit: Chris Dobrowolski, Seascape Escape, 1989 – 2015