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PRESS RELEASE


New Works by

Vaughan Grylls


PUBLIC VIEW: Thursday 3rd May 2018 @ 7-9.30pm


EXHIBITION RUNS

4th - 22nd May 2018


A-side B-side Gallery,

352 Mare Street,

Hackney, LONDON E8 1HR

(opposite Hackney Central Station)


Vaughan Grylls has made two very large works each consisting of a drawing and collage on paper. He has called them Herman’s Sermons (2017) and American Mail (2017).


Herman’s Sermons consists of black, rambling lanes leading to a variety of churches at the top of the work, with, nearer the bottom,  pictures of a bicycle being ridden with a boy behind. The boy is Grylls himself in the 1950s and the man riding the bicycle is his father, Herman Grylls, a school teacher and lay reader. In between the lanes are fields and hills constructed as a huge collage  out of Herman’s yellowing sermons. The sermons are handwritten in ink in a steady, clear copperplate with very few corrections. It is not possible to read whole sermons, but what snatches one can read show a man with a fine command of English and an intense desire to illuminate his congregations. Thrown in front of the work is an ancient bicycle. This eulogy to Vaughan Grylls’ long-dead father is arresting in its size and complexity and is deeply moving.


American Mail  consists  of print-outs of angry emails between two American professors. They are plastered all over a large 19th century steam-engined mail train being attacked by Native Americans on horseback with men aboard firing rifles and a machine gun at their assailants. One of the professors is a Trump supporter; the other, his old and bitterly disappointed friend, accuses him in extravagant language, of being a Jewish Nazi. Grylls  has been copied into much of the shouting, occasionally intervening, wickedly to stimulate it.


Juxtapositions exist everywhere – 1950s rural England, conservative, contemplative against today’s America, shouty, conflicted; the even copperplate handwriting constructed sentence by well thought-out sentence against the digital age of instant emails, the bike squeaking along deserted country lanes against the speed and noise of a steam engine with thundering horses in pursuit, the loving relationship between the father and son against two men in a kind of martial combat.


In this powerful contemporary diptych, Vaughan Grylls  appears to have created a medieval morality work for the modern age.



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