David Fryer Shot Shot Both Dead
David FryerThu 10 Apr 2008 - Sat 17 May 2008
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David Fryer examines death, memory, pain and love in his exhibition 'David Fryer Shot Shot Both Dead'. The show comprised an installation in the gallery with drawings and paintings, entwined in a personal moment of loss one year ago.
David Fryer examines death, memory, pain and love in his exhibition 'David Fryer Shot Shot Both Dead'. The show comprised an installation in the gallery with drawings and paintings, entwined in a personal moment of loss one year ago.

The installation of a heart-beating rock cast in resin, pulsates in a room surrounded by drawings and paintings echoing a private loss, whilst a wax heart drips slowly from above. Around the rock, thousands of pins demonstrate the shiny sharp edges of the surrounding ferns and foliage, the scattering of ashes, and the pain of memory. Each individual part, in their different mediums, unite to lead our thoughts to a broader universal sense of grief and memory.



Two men walked up onto the moor together where they had been before as children. At the time they had raced each other, tumbling down the hill not really knowing who won, just playing for the thrill of it. Now they return as adults in early April with the season on the turn, the moor still bleak in its winter state, carpeted by a carcass of last year's ferns. This landscape supports very little life; the contour of the land defined itself during the last ice age as it melted, pushing boulder and rock to the side. The place is Ilkley moor, and they have returned here as their mum had taken them on a Sunday, singing a folk song in the car on the way to the tune of Ilkley moor bartat. 'Were have the bin sins I saw thee, thy will catch your death of cold, then we will av to bury thee, then twerms will come an eat thee up, then ducks will come an eat up ducks, then we will come an eat up ducks, then we will av eaten thee'. Inscribed on the Cow and Calf, a large rock formation, are the names of people chiselled into the stone, graffiti from the 17th century. The two men wander the moor for a day then head back into town to return the next day tooled up to carve their own - this one dedicated to their mother Maggie. Below is the family name FRYER; they both knew the significance of their carving, as the man in the DIY tool shop also had his suspicion - it could be construed as them marking their own grave.



In death you place everything you are in one place and leave it behind for others to rummage through and take what they want from the detritus of life. A single starting point in David's life was when he experienced the death of their father at the age of 13. An enduring memory of dad Peter was being helped up a steep hill on a bicycle, his withered hand on his back. Without exerting much pressure, all his power seemed to manifest itself with a lightness of touch to make it feel like the hill wasn't really there. At the age of 16 David didn't know what he wanted to be, as he could no longer be a lagger like his father. Gaining a passport in adulthood, he had to define his occupation in the space provided. Not knowing what to write he asked his brother, who took one look at him and wrote 'artist' in the space provided. Now 42 he is the age their father was when he died, outliving his father to begin a new life perceived without reference to the past.



The exhibition marked a year since Maggie Fryer died. Photographs taken on the moor, one year ago, will be re-presented as an installation, painting, sculpture and drawing. In cowboy movies heroes and villains would fight it out in a secluded spot, one shooting to kill the other just before he dies himself. In the same way the camera was on the moor with them, as they faced their own mortality.