Enter a world in which swirling colours come to life, a sea of iridescent reflections and refractions coming alive in myriad optical forms. Imagine the light of sunrise captured in frozen time, or a visual vortex in which butterflies swim in your field of vision. Light crackles across the surface of ever-changing hues or seeps down in rippled waves as it dances across the vast spectrum of light and colour. And then, just as you start to trip the light fantastic, these surreal lightscapes give way to organic landscapes. Tree branches, spores, misty fields and the earthen planes meld with this play of light to create a pure, experiential moment. Lumière: Seeing in New Light (10 June – 31 August) brings together a group of artists who make us re-examine our everyday experiences through their investigation of optics and light, as well as appreciation of the natural world.
Indeed, for many of the artists showing here, light and colour form an integral part of their practice. At the centre of Austrian artist Robert Schaberl’s oeuvre, for example, is an almost alchemical investigation of colour and the way in which it behaves with light. This is also evident in the sculptures of Finnish artist HC Berg. For Schaberl, his use of interactive Iriodin pearl lustre pigments creates a subtle yet infinite spectrum of colour, while Berg poses questions about physical form and the play of light and optics in real and reflected spaces. Analysis of colour and perception are also at the centre of Swiss Marc Rembold’s work. A pioneer in the 1980s in the field of changing colour, his revolutionary techniques have given colour a physical fluidity, which he has referred to as “liquid sublimation”. Rembold’s practice – and its exploration of line – also resonates with that of the abstract work of New Zealand-born New York-based Max Gimblett, whose artistic practice combines Japanese calligraphy, Jungian psychology and the practice of Buddhism. With each work, Gimblett creates new relationships between surface, colour and gesture.
Moving into the realm of landscapes and the organic world, young British artist Caroline Jane Harris explores the complexities of nature through a labour-intensive paper-cutting technique. Her painstaking attention to visual phenomena finds a synergy in the works of Japanese Nobuhiro Nakanishi, whose sculptural works examine the notion of reticulated time by uncovering the raw beauty within our everyday experiences of the natural world. Meanwhile, instead of drawing on the world around her, Heekyoung Jeon, creates fantastical landscapes to create visions of Utopia that promise an idealised, Paradise-like state. They are also portals into her feelings and serve as a place within the ether in which she hovers between internal (of the mind) and external (her physical reality) states of being. The natural world and organic landscapes are also explored through the painterly practices of American artists Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Edward Lentsch and Lisa Ross, as well as Chinese Tianbing Li and Lebanese Marwan Sahmarani.