Gascoigne's retro-reflective road sign works are lyrically beautiful creations that stand as coded signposts at the crossroad between word and image. Their unfamiliar beauty is matched by a depth of intellectual complexity that gradually unfolds through a considered contemplation of the works. As with all of Gascoigne's art, a prolonged encounter with Lantern opens up infinite possibilities of meaning, with every element acting with choreographed precision to attract and deflect the viewer's eye and mind in a constant process of engagement with different aspects of the work.
Although all of Gascoigne's titles are allusive, allowing the viewer interpretative space, the title Lantern does play upon the verticality and illuminative qualities of the fiery-red surface. The weathered nature of the man-made material, together with the knowledge of its original purpose, may be interpreted as a commentary on the interaction between civilisation and the landscape. Through roads and signposts, human beings attempt to impose both structure and linguistic conventions upon the natural environment. Gascgoine's preference for deeply scarred and weathered materials also suggests the converse of this relationship; the impact of the elements upon the constructs of man. This idea is strengthened by the formal properties of the work, for like other works in this series, Lantern juxtaposes the surface appearance of a found object with the formal properties of a constructed art object. Thus the surface patination and re-arrangement of the material vie for the viewer's attention, setting up one of several binary tensions that operate throughout the work.
Perhaps the most overt of these tensions in Lantern is that between word and image, which is a constant presence in the retro-reflective series of works. Gascoigne abstracts the lettering from both context and recognised form, leaving only the teasing inference of alphabetical shapes. Suspended between decorative patterning and the suggestion of textual meaning, the abstract lettering becomes a potent tool in an exploration of the relationship between word and image and the power of abstraction to intimate meaning.
In Lantern Gascoigne pays the viewer the ultimate compliment by not offering easy answers to the questions that the work poses. Indeed, the only resolution that she offers is one of aesthetic harmony and a sense of visual order.