Whenever a new exhibition or project goes on show here, we work with the artist involved to choose an image that will stand for the show on this website. And because the virtual windows within websites have unusual and unbudgeable formats, we also have to crop the image and clear that crop with the artist.
It doesn't always work. Or, that's to say, some images survive the cropping better than others. My own nomination for the just-invented Best CAG Webcrop Ever Award would be the one our designer Peter Bray made earlier this week from photographer Yvonne Todd's contribution to the Populate! programme.
Christchurch Art Gallery regulars might recall Todd as the maker of the splendidly morose photograph Ethlyn, which was often on show in the permanent collection hang, and which contains its own small harvest of nagging and perfectly 'off' details -- among them the unhemmed edge of the dress and the claustrophobically tight-looking black gloves, which seem to tamp down and muffle the 'visual noise' her guitar ought to be making. There's her name as well, which suggests that someone called 'Ethel' has been reinvented as a poisonous spirit (echoes of 'ethanol' and 'methylated').
For the tenth-birthday programme, Yvonne's made two new photographs that together form a diptych titled (and she does such good titles) Mood Sandwich. That'll go on public show for the birthday on 10 May, but here in the meantime, sliced from the bottom of one photo, is the singularly strange webcrop, where fakery, touch, awkward stillness and thwarted proximity are all in play again. It reminds me (and excuse me if I'm giving away too much here) of one of those dreams in which you want something that's almost yours but which you somehow keep on not reaching...