What's on

Embodying Gesture

22nd February 2018 to 11th March 2018

The Muse Gallery proudly presents

Embodying Gesture 
Margaret Ashman  
Rod McIntosh


Opening Night 22.02.2018, 6-9.pm


Margaret Ashman

Margaret creates delicately coloured original prints based on gesture, dance and sign. The stillness and silence of the works is not accidental, it’s because her models are deaf. Each step or movement of arm, hand and body flows from a performer who speaks the visual language of sign. Whether signing or dancing without words, each gesture is intentional and resonant with hidden meaning. 


Chisato Minamimura, a deaf choreographer and dancer performed improvised dance and a number of sequences of sign language. Margaret recorded her dances, sometimes using a hand held camera, moving with the dancer and following her to capture each movement.


Zoe McWhinney translated scriptural text into sign language, which Margaret recorded with video. Margaret then selected particular video stills to use in the creation of a handmade artist’s book.  The pages were printed in pairs before being fixed together with Japanese paper hinges in a book press.


Ideas are developed digitally first and then made into metal plates in the workshop by a photo etching process. Margaret’s preferred metals are steel and copper. She etches steel plates with nitric acid, sometimes reworking the plates with scrapers and abrasives to bring more light in the final image.


The proofing stage on the press is a vital part of the creative process before the final print is realised.  Layers of ink are sometimes added to create soft layers and unique marks by mixing and reworking. Each print is taken individually by freshly inking up the plate for each impression.


Some works include images of objects, photographs of textiles, embroideries, or backgrounds made from many of the artist’s own or found photographs of interiors or exteriors.  Margaret’s Indian Dancer series draws on nineteenth century photographs of India whereas her Time for Everything series includes images of textiles combined with the sign for ‘sewing’.


Rod McIntosh


Rod McIntosh is an artist with his studio in the midst of the English countryside of rural Kent. He works between Kent and London as an exhibiting artist and is represented by several galleries and consultants working together to build a national and international profile for his work.

He studied figurative sculpture in Sheffield, graduating in 1992. He maintained a dynamic practice alongside a successful Arts Management and academic career until 2009. When he returned full-time to the studio.

His current work as a mark-maker lies within the tradition of drawing. With his body, the breath along with materials, and repetitive often-obsessive processes, focuses an attention to the present. Observing and recording the moment of creation within a continuum.

He speaks of them as;

Physical meditations, that offers himself, and the viewer, a moment to pause.”


Process is central within the painting practice of Rod McIntosh. His mark making has a fluidity and honesty that reveals itself through a muted pallet of monotones. This lends the work a striking and minimal appearance, which coalesces with the quiet sensitivity to his materials, time invested and action.

Through rehearsal, the mark-making is an embodiment of a gestural flow with the breath that is privately performed.

For McIntosh the provenances and particular characteristics of each material are of great importance. Following closely traditional eastern recipes for archival inks and pastes he works upon delicate Chinese papers that absorb every fluid movement as he accepts the brevity of a final committed stroke.

Presence and concentration is key to his practice in cultivating a meditative quality. Examining his temporal gestures, alongside ideas of mindfulness, permanence, attachment and acceptance.