"It is written: 'Your soul is the whole world'. It says that when a man is asleep, he penetrates his innermost and dwells in Atman." *
SIDDHARTA - Hermann Hesse
For Reveries, Christopher Shilling has endeavoured to dream in the day, to access a portal into the self during the waking state. Shilling explores the in-between - the daydreams - a place that is neither here nor there, where the duality of the conscious and subconscious occur at the same time, giving a glimpse into Atman.
By activating the imagination through visual triggers in reality, Shilling has delivered new figurative shapes abstracted from their archetypes in a realm of floating, shifting forms. The works, made of oil paint on tracing paper, have an immediate sense of being veils, blurred mists of vistas and that which feels half here and half lost, in a dreamscape - without ground.
On closer inspection the works are made up of more than one piece of paper - more than one image - hovering between each other to create a dual image. This layering creates a tension between the images - both holding each other up and together.
Holding the floating, vaporous paintings aloft, as if by magic, are solid sculptures. These shapes, like clouds, evoke familiar forms yet hover in-between the familiar and something other worldly.
The works in Reveries are concerned with the slippage and search for meaning. They have a wistfulness whilst simmering with a happy pastel palette. They play with both the good and the bad idioms of painting, hi and low, crass and sublime - all existing at once but not contradicting one another - searching for a state of togetherness at the same moment.
Christopher Shilling (b. Johannesburg 1984) Studied at Central St martins BA (2004-7) and attended The Beaux Arts Paris (2008-9) for a postgraduate diploma. Shilling currently lives and works in London.
* Atman is often referred to as ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ and indicates our true self or essence which underlies our existence.