A Certain Kind of Light, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

In need of some artistic inspiration so went along to the A Certain Kind of Light exhibition at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne yesterday. On view was a very eclectic mix of work which all involve lighting effects of some kind from various artists. Below is the blurb for the show and I’ve picked out a few pieces of work that I was particularly engaged in.

A Certain Kind of Light explores how artists have responded to light, its materiality, transience and effect.  The exhibition brings together artworks that reflect the relationship between light and a wide range of themes from brightness, colour and perception to transformation, energy and the passage of time. Encompassing paintings, sculpture, video, photography, drawing and immersive installations, it features artworks created from the 1960s to the present day by almost thirty leading artists including David Batchelor, Ceal Floyer, Raphael Hefti, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, L S Lowry, Katie Paterson, Peter Sedgley, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Given its function as the basis for vision, light has long fascinated artists as both a material and as a subject. The exhibition considers the different ways artists have explored the various aspects of light, from its importance as a source of illumination, as a pure sculptural material, as a mysterious force and as a source of energy that can be conceptually converted into other forms’

 

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Angela Bulloch, Pink Chance Corner (1995) Perspex, glass, metal and plastic

Interior décor qualities that follow a set of rules. We see objects like this in their masses on department stores. Is this a comment on or poke at consumerism? The lights softly blink, like a pulse, a life form characteristic. The blinks are systematic, simultaneously and individually like there is some dialogue happening. The sculpture is positioned in a dark corner which also references the title of the work.

Anish Kapoor, Untitled (1995) Stainless steel

Where ever I position myself the work alters. I found this piece fascinating, largely as it draws on optical illusion effects which made me consider how artists explore relationships with surface, space, depth and scale. When viewing, the reflective surface captures its viewer, quite apt in the way in which we are continually recording ourselves

Brad Lochore, Shadow No52 (1994) Oil on canvas

During some of the Research Presentation discussions in February and March, phenomena in art was discussed a few times. Here, the shadows convey a transitory phenomena, a manifestation from the light. The concept of Lochore’s work is interesting. The shadows are not from real objects but from digitally manipulated photographs which are projected onto the canvas and then painted.

David Batchelor, Festdella (2006) Plastic bottles, low energy electric lights and festoon cable

This got me thinking about how we see illuminated lighting in urban environments. Using ephemeral fluid containers such as PET bottles, hair care products and cleaning agents, the lighting dimly-lit bottles softly glow resonating party or festive aesthetics.

Julian Opie, Indirect Lighting (1989) Rubber, aluminium glass, plastic, wood, stainless steel and florescent light

Again, like Bulloch’s work, Indirect Lighting is very industrial. I imagined a big deep-freeze display cabinet you find in supermarkets. However, there is a lot more going on. From its scale and shape, it appears extreme and powerful and its smooth steel exterior bears the hallmarks of comfortable, modern living.

Peter Sedgley, Corona (1970) PVA and pigment of canvas with kinetic lights

I didn’t notice the kinetic lights, very subtle, I wondered how it views in the dark. You can detect 1960s Op Art influences with the geometrical pattern and contrasting colours. The inner lighting defusing the pigment. The effect is multiplied by a sequence of alternating coloured lights.

 

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