light forms the exhibition
July 30th —August 16, 2008
light forms, is an exhibition that parallels the 2D and 3D preocupations with space, light and form of painter Gary Smith and installation artist Denise Higgins.
In the front gallery Smith borrows and expands fragments from nineteenth century (and other) landscapes to the point that they resist clear reading and float between image and abstraction. Smith builds these paintings of clouds and dust and atmosphere from several hundred layers of paint which imbues them with an emphatic internal structure. As Deborah Clark observes 'Drawing on old master techniques of glazing and thinning, Smith makes his painting surfaces gleam and glow and flicker like the silver surfaces of daguerrotypes. The artist is interested in evoking the pure and unreal space that mirrored surfaces reflect: at once infinite depth and none. These paintings become mirrors, and the viewer snared in the surfaces of Smith’s work can find no anchoring imagery and no distinction between inside and outside, the observed and the observing. The works are vertiginous and visceral experiences of pure painting'.
In the second room Higgins's installation is a kinaesthetic experience of light as a seen, but also as a felt energy.‘…the most interesting thing to find is that light is aware that we are looking at it, so that it behaves differently when we are watching it and when we're not, which imbues it with consciousness...' James Turrell
A nested set of black mirror lenses form tiered pools of darkness in the centre of the space. Hovering above, intent and menacing, mechanized light arms, rotate with mesmeric intent. They scribe light orbits across the glass….sine waves refract through the lens onto wall, floor, ceiling— in a continuous incarnation of auroric form.
David Bohm describes matter as 'condensed light' , and between and betwixt Smith's light films and Higgins's light traceries we are offered glimpses of implicate order.