Intrusions: Looking after Aickman

Artists and the Uncanny: Paula Rego, Ana Maria Pacheco, Dolores de Sade, Johanna Love, Marcelle Hanselaar, Oona Grimes, Tassie Russell

There’s something wrong… There’s something wrong with almost everything.

Aickman revised Slider 1 copyRobert Aickman (1914-1981) was a master of the ghost story. His ‘Strange Stories’ have unique style and depth, conjuring the uncanny from the poignantly observed mundane.

‘Intrusions: Looking after Aickman’ celebrates his life, and presents the work of seven major contemporary printmakers, all of whom look through and beyond daily life in a way that resonates with Aickman’s vision.

The exhibition acknowledges the world as a mysterious, sometimes disturbing place. Some of the artists echo Aickman’s themes, some are informed by him, and some (in best Aickman manner) know nothing of him. As artists they explore memory and myth, the everyday and the epic, and things that intrude. Working with print, drawings, and photography and largely in monochrome, they hold in common the exploration of the psychologically charged drama, and the narratives running through dark underbelly of life.

Long admired in select circles, Aickman’s writing is poised for critical reassessment through new editions of his written work, a documentary film on his life, and various other commemorative projects. Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss of the ‘League of Gentlemen’ are committed advocates, and Dyson celebrated him in a Radio 4 programme ‘The Unsettled Dust, the Strange Stories of Robert Aickman’ in December 2011 – it is still available to hear:

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks, readings; performances and events.

There is an afternoon ‘100th birthday’ celebration, on 28th June with readings, talks and discussion, followed by a drinks party. The modern ‘strange story’ master M. John Harrison will join discussion, and read from his own work. Email here for an invitation. There is no charge, but numbers are limited, so please apply early.

There is a bookstall throughout, where editions of Aickman’s work can be seen and bought, and some Aickman memorabilia is on display.