It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

28 November – 12 December 2015



It was a dark and stormy night…
Florent Dubois, Graeme Durant, Jemma Egan, Lindsey Mendick, Suzanne Posthumus, Josh Whitaker
Exhibition runs: 27th November – 12th December
Gallery open: Thursday to Saturday 12-6
Opening night: Friday 27th 6-9pm
“It was a dark and stormy night” is an often-mocked and parodied phrase written by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford. The phrase is considered to represent the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing, also known as purple prose. Often mocked and ridiculed in literary circles, Paul West, the literary critic and author, acknowledged the joy and frivolity of purple prose in his New York Times article:
‘Of course, purple is not only highly colored prose. It is the world written up, intensified and made pleasurably palpable, not only to suggest the impetuous abundance of Creation, but also to add to it by showing – showing off – the expansive power of the mind itself, its unique knack for making itself at home among trees, dawns, viruses, and then turning them into something else: a word, a daub, a sonata. The impulse here is to make everything larger than life, almost to overrespond, maybe because, habituated to life written down, in both senses, we become inured and have to be awakened with something almost intolerably vivid. When the deep purple blooms, you are looking at a dimension, not a posy’.
In August 2015, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night had it’s first incarnation at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester. Forged from a group of artists that passed a ‘purple prose’ test, the invited artists created a singular subject matter as a group by forging a story line by line. All of the artists drew upon this fragmented and surreal story to create overzealous and highly saturated work for the exhibition.
For Two Queens, the artists involved have explored and exploded a fragment of the story individually. Through their writing, multiple strands of individual fictions will be combined to create a group show that explores the breadth of the artists imagination.