Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Experiencing Liberty and Anarchy (Studio 3)

Studio 3, Leeds Art Gallery (Nike Savvas) & David Shearing

In February 2013 the Studio 3 group met with myself (David Shearing), the artist collaborating with Leeds Art Gallery to begin our project on light, colour and to explore ideas surrounding notions of ‘painting into space’. We met at Leeds Art Gallery to experience the Nike Savvas exhibition Liberty and Anarchy (2012), the title of a new work installed into one of the main gallery spaces.

Savvas appears to be posing a number of questions with this new work, not just about our visual sense but the way in which she draws attention to body in the perception of the work. Savvas also proposes a dilemma with the title of the piece, which the group felt was rather baffling! For Savvas her work is expressing a deeper socio-political anxiety, a tension and conflict that translate into a multisensory conflict within the artwork. 

The group were offered a guided tour of Liberty and Anarchy by Amanda our host and Project C-oordinator. We were briefed before entering with a series of warnings as to how the work might make us feel, and to prepare us for a dizzying and possibly nauseating experience.

We split into two groups, so not to overcrowd the piece and moved through the work until we reached the end. What was striking for the group was how movement becomes a key aspect in experiencing the work; as we walked through, the rather simple plastic forms began to flicker causing the work to moiré. In physics, a moiré is an optical effect when two line grids are overlaid creating a short optical rupture as the lines or colours are brought into conflict. The group was clearly moved after this experience with some reflecting on the disorienting feeling and how it affected their balance. Parallels were drawn between the flicking light patterns and some of the film and animation works the group have been working on previously.

After experiencing this work, we then had time to explore some of the other objects and yarn based pieces by Savvas - this also offered us further insights into creating spatial forms.

Movement, light, reflection and painting into space will be the main starting point for the group explorations in the coming few weeks.  I'm excited to see how the group develop some of the simple materials into their own creations.


David Shearing

Photos by Hayley Mason

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