Skip to content
WSA Library

Daniel Lehan: Paint Out, Cut Outs, Tear Up Erasures

30th January—16th March 2024

WSA Library

This exhibition is particularly significant to me, since I was a student at Winchester School of Art, studying the Fine Art (Painting) Degree Course, from 1977 to 1980. 

The first erasure texts I made were on the front pages of the METRO newspaper. Since then, I have erased texts, occasionally images, in a variety of ways, with paint, erasers, pens, by tearing and with scissors, and removing text with scalpel blades. Made erasures by using a typewriter with no ribbon, the metal keys damaging / destroying the text and sometimes the paper.

I like the physicality of altering text. The covering up or removal of words. When using scalpel blades, the removal of words and paper could be regarded by some as sacrilegious – attacking a work of literature. I am struck, however, by how a destroyed page has a fragility, often a beauty, having survived such a ‘creative’ attack. A consequence of removing text is the increase in the amount of ‘empty’ space around the words remaining. This removal feels like something being ‘released’ creating a space for the eye to consider these ‘floating’ words (no longer held in sequential order) differently. 

Working with erasures, I am taken with the idea and process of absence, the absence of something that was.