Meditations in an Emergency

11 October – 17 November 2018
The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art

Meditations in an Emergency takes its title from a poem by Frank O’Hara, written as musings on the subject of cultural identity and romantic heartbreak, spiked with landscape imagery. The word meditations (plural), suggests a gathering of thoughts or expressions on a subject, while emergency sets the pace.

The starting point for the exhibition is an acid trance dance track, accompanying a new moving image work. Bayliss has been producing dance music for more than two decades and is influenced by the rave culture of East Devon and West Cornwall, where he grew up and now lives. The film is inspired by the recent international controversy surrounding the homoerotic video of Russian air cadets dancing to Benny Benassi’s club anthem Satisfaction, and features material found online and filmed by the artist at an undisclosed location in Cornwall.

The exhibition also features ceramics, poetry and painting, building on Bayliss’ ongoing interest in working within craft-based traditions. Slipware pottery and en plein air landscape painting are staples within the artists practice, through which Bayliss playfully explores painterly expression, as well as his conflicting feelings of reverence and irreverence towards the artistic legacies of Cornwall. Woven throughout the exhibition are explorations of rural and queer identity, romanticism and a surreal sense of place.