Three television sets point towards each other from the corners of a triangle, in ‘…a legend, it, it sounds like a legend…’ (2007). The screens show primary colours whilst the text of viewers’ descriptions of the sounds they heard whilst watching the Northern Lights are flashed on a screen. This art show feels full of vivid colour but oddly non-figurative, examining the quality of light energy (natural, filtered and artificial) used in art.
Aurora Borealis dotted the skies of UK recently so briefly, a sense of confusion is left by wondering if we witnessed the real thing. Young British Artist, Hannah Rickards re-creates the experience of joy left from the memory of nature’s own fireworks by using the spoken word to light the way in often dark, silent galleries.
The story of this exhibition, that finds meaning in the void left by natural phenomena, is told as each work spills into each other.A film of the residents of Lake Michigan describing a mirage over the Eastern Shores is entitled, ‘No, there was no red’ (2009). Each description of the mirage is given so personally it is like the interviewee is the only one there at the time, setting up a perfect metaphor for viewing art in a gallery where shadows and steps frame the work.
The large upper gallery has soft subtle washes of orange light flooding the space from one end and equally powerful green light from the opposite end. The simplicity of the idea means visitors connect instantly with enjoying a beautiful colour fall onto them. The macro detail of filling a whole space with filtered light means soon the eye forgets the subtle change and the tinted light becomes normal.
Walking the streets home I wonder what else appears briefly in the flicker of a lamplight or glare the sun on wet paving stone. The line between permanent and temporary images seems to be a fragile one. This show (at Modern Art Oxford until April 21) suggests other images may be lurking in the shadows too, if we have the right light to see them.
More posts inspired by three images can be found here
Enjoy images inspired by gardening journeys in a complimentary ebook here