Marriages, families and friendships probably broke up when TV screens flickered with static, instead of images. Static was what the pulsating black-and-white worms were called that filled the space between TV channels back in the analogue days, when people argued and raged as they were woken from their blissful zoned-out TV-induced slumber. It signalled an unpleasant inbetween state, a disturbing aural and visual experience. It was a sort of sensory limbo, as though if it were left on for long enough, while some poor person was hanging on to the edge of the roof trying to get a better signal, it would grow on you and the static of the static-ness became curiously comforting. In his exhibition at Circa Gallery Cape Town, appropriately entitled No Signal, Richard Penn offers all shades of "static" in a series dubbed Noise. Rendered in pretty retro-colours of lime green paired with orange, or yellows with browns and orange, Penn’s oil paintings of "static" veer more to the pleasing, co...

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