TJ Bateson - Tacit Voices

Friday 13 - Saturday 28 May 2022


"To you, Tacit is a place but tacit is the unspoken, a visual, emotive or experiential knowing not defined or described by words. Tacit Voices is an exhibition that brings together the unspoken heroes of mine that guide, support and challenge my practice.

Tacit Voices is an exhibition of my latest work alongside six artists, each of whom have donated work in support of raising funds. 

Each would say that the studio is an isolated, private space protected, guarded, closed to outside influences; a place of innovation, exploration, creation. It’s a lonely, fragile environment protected by rules, guided by scaffolding and inner voices bubbling with hope. During the performance of making, the artist has permission to invite external voices that can help to shape, encourage and promote a sense of empowerment, to move forward in the innovation or distillation of work, a new idea in an attempt to solve that undescribed, unimagined need to keep making. But the space itself isn’t important. 

The last two years has had differing impact but we are all at a time where we are fragile, vulnerable. For me personally, the reinvention of Tacit, the rebuilding of a place of making has empowered a safe place. But the studio, to me, is defined by the stuff, the materials, the tables, the racks. Just stuff. The studio is not empowered by materials but by the presence of what I like to call the tacit voices that I invite into the space. This exhibition looks to present new work alongside the strongest and most dominant tacit voices that I continue to invite into my creative space. 

Music is the first strike and the power of the past to make. It is the primary motivational voice invited into my making. The hypnotic repetition of my queens, my Cindy Lauper, my Cher and my Dolly Parton connects the past with the present, my latest creative space to all the previous places where I have made work. It strikes the scene, sets the stage, cleanses the past, removes the intensity of other and makes way for new voices. Alongside, my making heroes are invited to scaffold and help in my making process.

I need the power of Robyn Burgess to keep making, the encouragement and support to know there is always time for one more: this journey, a journey is never finite. I turn to Louise Blyton to simplify, to reduce, to make more with less. Terri Brooks speaks to making good, making do with what you have with a focus rather than a restriction. The nuances of surface are spoken by Paula McLoughlin in the infinitely subtle layers of her screenprint works. In this quietness, I hear Cat Poljski wanting to turn up the volume, to energise each mark whilst Judy Anne Muller whispers make every mark matter, don’t waste any opportunity to tell a story. "

TJ Bateson, April 2022

Artists: TJ Bateson, Louise Blyton, Terri Brooks, Robyn Burgess, Paula McLoughlin, Judy Anne Muller, Cat Poljski