About Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane: The Hills Are Shadows

The hills are shadows, and they flow

From form to form, and nothing stands;

They melt like mist, the solid lands,

Like clouds they shape themselves and go.

- Alfred Lord Tennyson, excerpt from ‘In Memoriam’

Taking their exhibition title from part of a Tennyson poem, the collaborative partnership of Canada based artists Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane immediately made a statement, showing the poetic and mysterious side of their drawing practice.

Their immersive drawing installations amalgamate notions of studio, gallery and domestic space. They are made in a marathon fashion, expanding across entire walls over the course of an exhibition. The artists sketch animals (real, imagined and extinct), landforms and architecture, and then gradually flesh out metamorphic landscapes with pencils, inky brooms, brushes, stencils, spritzers and atomizers. They crawl on drop sheets, climb ladders and respond to each other’s marks, oscillating between techniques of chance and intention. Their finished drawings represent a meandering conversation and a shared dream world between two travelling companions.

The works in this exhibition showcased the prolific output of drawing from the artists, representing their own unique and distinct drawing practices, but also the results of twenty collaborative projects together. Within the space were sections of three of their large installations as well as correspondence art, ephemera and a selection of small-scale works.

During the first few weeks of the exhibition Jim and Matt were on-site creating a new work, growing from their existing pieces and responding to the scale of MAC's First Floor Gallery.