‘Half-light’ brings together a body of work created by Nick Fox over the last three years, including new paintings, sculptures and cyanotype prints. The works function as a mirror to the artist’s emotional life, charting Fox’s enduring motivations of longing, desire, seduction, love and loss.

His work is informed by an interest in folklore and myth and layered with literary references, in particular the writings of Oscar Wilde and French novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans, giving rise to a keen sense both of the pleasures and the limits of double meanings in the construction of codes.

Fox brings the series All of me - some of me (2014-16) together for the first time in an immersive site-responsive configuration. Consisting of 100 close-up images of the artist’s body in photographic cyanotype form, the series charts Fox’s personal journey of longing and romantic loss, including simultaneous life and death events: the birth of his second daughter, the end of his relationship. The delicate and sensual long-exposure blueprints capture and mediate a process of reflection and analysis to create an allegorical aide-memoire. Fox uses his own body as the subject to create a lexicon of personal and emotionally exposed snapshots that chart memory, experience, intimacy, pain and pleasure. When viewed together the individual images reveal an intimate and lyrical portrait reminding us that longing and loss can be a transformative and empowering tool to create fulfilment and joy.

In his series of small-scale paintings Fox revisits an enduring interest in floriography (or the language of flowers) and revelatory symbol. Twisted and contorted forms are concealed amongst an overabundance of imaginary botanical elements in desolate landscapes, introducing references to the garden, here presented as a nexus of the natural and of artifice, as a territory for contemplation, pleasure and magical revelation. Fox constructs visionary spaces informed by his archive of collected images and objects, that hold talismanic and alchemical meaning. Folds, loops and knots traditionally used as tokens of remembrance or devotion appear disquietingly out of place. In Tribute (2015) a glowing True Love’s Knot formed out of dead grass lies discarded in a dream-like underwater scene, while in Fools gold (2016) a twisted piece of lead lies desolate on a bejewelled bed of stones. In each work, Fox’s quietly reveals symbolic fragments of remembrance, wonder, hope, promise, love and lust.

Fox’s gilded sculptures extends the allegory; the emotional charge here becoming physical through symbolic transubstantiation of immaterial to material. From his earlier work in gold, which made use of gold dust gifted to Fox by his first lover, the meaning has now expanded from the sentimental to encompass gold’s alchemic and transformative qualities. Wonderland (2015), one of a grouping of endlessly looping golden Möbius strips, punctuates an otherwise flat topography, fusing a symbolic role to mythological journey and emotional transition. In Other conclusion (2016) a series of imagined love letters gilded in 24ct gold, stand in for the (now lost) four years’ worth of digital correspondence between Fox and his recent lover, charting their failed relationship. They provide a corporeal form to Fox’s ongoing interest in digital disconnect, transmutation of longing and the complex struggle to communicate across the emotional spectrum, ideas that resonate throughout the exhibition.

Artist’s talk: Wednesday 14 December 6-7pm

Nick Fox will discuss his work with Dr Fiona Anderson, art historian at Newcastle University, on Wednesday 14 December, 6-7pm. Dr Anderson’s research is concerned with art and queer culture from the 1960s to the 1990s, with a particular focus on the HIV/AIDS crisis.