Tim Etchells’ (b. 1962) work spans performance, video, photography, text projects, installation and fiction. In recent years, Etchells has developed a substantial body of neon and LED text works, which have been shown in galleries and public contexts all over the world. Site-specific commissions include All We Have (Double Line) in Athens (2016), A Stitch in Time in Derry (2014), and How Love Could Be in Bochum (2014).
Etchells’ site-specific sculptural work for Great Exhibition of the North looks out towards the river Tyne from Gateshead Quays. The work uses innovative LED technology to expand upon previous public commissions that explore the speed, clarity and vividness with which language communicates narrative, image and ideas. The work is made up of a well-used colloquialism alongside an idiom that seems to read in opposition, developing Etchells’ practice of language interrogation and the context dependant relationship between the work and the viewer. With/Against will have a commanding presence beside the river, presenting an ambiguous instruction to all who encounter the work, and examining the productive and constraining effect that language can have.