KING FISHER'S TALES
KING FISHER’S TALES IN ASSOCIATION WITH WORKPLACE GALLERY, GATESHEAD
19/03/2008 - 03/05/2008
UNION and Workplace Gallery are pleased to announce King Fisher’s Tales, a group exhibition bringing together works by a diverse group of 19 artists including Eric Bainbridge, Neil Baker, Darren Banks, Catherine Bertola, Rick Buckley, Joe Clark, Francine Demarco, Peter J. Evans, Colin Guillemet, Henry Krokatsis, Aidan Latimerj, Tonico Lemos Auad, Rory Macbeth, John Negus, David Raymond Conroy, Richard Rigg, Cecilia Stenbom, Matt Stokes and Miles Thurlow.
Central to this exhibition is the wounded and enigmatic figure of the Fisher King found variously in Christian and Pagan mythologies. Best known to Arthurian romances, the character was first introduced in 1190 in an unfinished text by the French poet Chretien de Troyes. Numerous versions of this legend make it a complex and amorphous story, each author’s account inconsistent with another and rarely resolutely resolved. However each share a sense of a spiritual quest, the mysterious Fisher King at its heart.
Charged with the keeping of the Holy Grail the Fisher King, mysteriously debilitated by a wound that never heals and in constant pain, takes to fishing in the waters beside his castle. When the King is injured his kingdom falls into enchantment and is devastated in kind, his impotence mirrored by a barren wasteland.
Readings of the Fisher King character cast him variously as a symbol of good and evil, sterility and fertility, God and humanity and the myth has been propagated into modernity through re-workings by Richard Wagner, TS Eliot, and Madison Cawein.
Like the many authors of this legend, the artists have embarked on their own quest for the spiritual, casting their own fishing lines into a tangled web of possibilities - of affirmation, of celebration, of cynicism, of ambivalence. By re-visiting this paradoxical legend, they explore what it might mean to be spiritual now, and where that quest might lead.