Preferring to work off the beaten track, Kirsten Reynolds chooses significant locations to make nocturnal light drawings that capture dynamic traces of the artist’s movements in response to each specific landscape. Whilst this technique has been much used over the years in science and the arts, Reynolds has developed a unique approach and her background in music and sound art makes her intuitive physical response to the chosen location both compelling and powerful.
'The photographs she takes record her explorations of place and time through drawing. She weaves skeins of light before the lens, sometimes white, sometimes coloured. Her trajectory leaves traces whose shapes shift from transparent, through opaque, to sinuous, web-fine lines with the tensile strength of steel. Sometimes the landscape is barely discernible, just a dense tactile space, at other times the forms drift over recognisable terrain like mist that is impossibly articulated, or a bolt of fine silk, each fold of which is impossibly crystalline, or a transparent titanium sculpture. They look like an extraordinary natural event: the aurora borealis, or freak electrical activity.’ Simone Witney, Hastings Independent Press, 2017
‘The drawing process has a lot in common with making music; and I'd say drumming in particular. There is only one chance in each frame to get it right, although there is no pre-defined idea of what is 'right'. It's almost like visual improvising with the landscape.’ The environment is very influential, and intuition and experimentation are important every time. Each location needs to present a new challenge as repetition and predictability within the process results in images that lack dynamism.’ Kirsten Reynolds, 2017
Reynolds has exhibited worldwide from the Hayward Gallery in London for Sonic Boom; The Art of Sound, the first international exhibition of Sound Art, to the Sydney Festival with Power Plant, in which five artists present over thirty site-specific sound and light installations botanic gardens and public parks. Power Plant has won critical acclaim at major arts festivals around the world from the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2011 to the Auckland Arts Festival 2017.
Artist Richard Wilson says of Reynolds’ work:
‘This is not ephemeral art, this is light, action and location all suspended in time as a gestural moment of magic.'