ex is an annual exhibition profiling a selection of artists at the beginning of their careers. It is selected from the degree shows of fine art graduates who have formerly completed their foundation course at Leeds College of Art. The exhibition was selected by Sean Kaye, Mick Welbourn and Jenny West after visiting fourteen fine art BA shows during May and June 2010.
Timothy Pulleyn performs momentary events that are discarded and thrown out into time; as in Unit 12 – 43m. He gathers his material, short wooden beams of various size, all painted red, into a self-made hod, and then walks from his studio to a predetermined location, with the hod on his back. Upon arrival, he uses the wood to make a sculptural form, which again, was predetermined prior to the event. After a time, the work is then removed. As he says, “The work only exists for the one or two hours I set myself as a limit. Once the two hours are up the wood is put back in the hod and taken back to my studio.” He continues, “I am interested in the strict, the continuous, and the improvised developments of rhythm. My work derives from music in its simplest and most primitive form.” Visually, the sculptures are true to this musical interest. The wooden beams are often set in repetitive linear patterns, denoting forms of time and measure, rhythm and beat. The process of the making mirrors that of a musical performance also: take your equipment to the venue, set-up, perform, and then leave. All that physically remains of Pulleyn’s sculptures are photographs, which are typically posted on his blog, like a travelogue or diary. But the work really exists in the mind of those few who, by chance, saw him strolling through the city – Glasgow usually, but now Leeds for the first time – hod on back, red wood protruding. Those people were ‘there’, as audience and as witnesses of the work. The sculptures allow Pulleyn the means to perform, but it is the performance, the activity, that lies at the heart of his practice.
When asked by Willoughby Sharp, “What is your art for?” the American artist Bruce Nauman replied simply, “To keep me busy.” That has been, and always will be, plenty reason enough.
Words by Chris Newlove Horton