"We are on a Skype call together: our cameras are microscopes and they are focused on paper instead of ourselves.
We border each other.
We co-create a painting in real-time.
We attend to the demands of our microscopic materials."
[Rhiannon Armstrong and Tim Spooner]
The Microscope Sessions are collaborative performances by artists Rhiannon Armstrong and Tim Spooner, in which a painting silently emerges through processes of chance and consequence.
Presented in the context of the National Gallery, it offers us the chance to reflect on the meditative qualities of the act of painting, the materials it involves, as well as the joy in creatively connecting with one another, at a time when intimacy with others has all but vanished.
The performance lasts around 40 minutes and is followed by a short Q&A between the artists and Lucy Chiswell, The Dorset Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery.
The Microscope Sessions was developed by Rhiannon Armstrong and Tim Spooner with support from Unlimited and Jerwood Arts. It has been performed online for Forest Fringe, Southbank Centre and The Place.
Rhiannon Armstrong is an interdisciplinary artist making works with empathy, interaction, and dialogue at their core, often for unfiltered audiences. Conversation and collaboration are central to her practice: between makers of different disciplines, public contributors, and audiences.
Tim Spooner works in performance, collage, painting and sculpture. His work uses materials and objects in ways that reveal unexpected properties, aiming to open up perspectives beyond the human scale.