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Goose on the Hill

Monday 21st September, 2009

a photo of locked bookcase called 'dyslexic library'

This autumn Pallant House Gallery plays host to an exhibition of works by the Portsmouth-based Outsider artist, Jon Adams, to coincide with the major exhibition of outsider art at the Gallery, 'Outside In' and to mark the culmination of Adams' two year-long project as Artist in Residence for Southern Rail.

'The Goose on the Hill' is an intimate journey into the artist's past told through an accumulation of found objects, each representing different episodes in Adams' life. The show is inspired by the language and symbolism of geology -serving as a metaphor for the ways in which we are shaped and formed by our personal histories.

The show takes its name from an episode that occurred during one of Adams' regular train journeys as Artist in Residence for Southern Rail when he would gather fragments of conversations from his fellow passengers. One evening he saw a goose standing up on the hill, highlighted against the sky. The image struck a chord - seeming to represent the action of sticking one's neck out and being visible - something Adams had long struggled with, having spent most of his life keeping things hidden.

Growing up with undiagnosed dyslexia, Adams' school days were blighted by the failure to understand his condition, and the assumption that he was 'stupid'. Adams cites the example of a teacher who ripped up a piece of his artwork in front of the class because he had misspelled his own name as a key episode in his life - prompting what he describes as the 'wild goose chase' away from the artistic ambitions he had first vocalised aged 6.

Alongside the exhibition will be 'hidden' interventions throughout the Galleries for visitors to find, and a text-based installation in the Garden Gallery referencing Adam's work in stations across the South East.

The exhibition is on at Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1TJ 13 October - 22 November 2009 http://www.pallant.org.uk