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Green Light in the City

Dust On The Mirror

1 October 10 words: Thomas Norton
Welcome into a lofty bright hall where symmetry and chaos is juxtaposed with shadows and misshapes
Cumulus - by Christopher Cook
Cumulus by Christopher Cook

Take the time before you read this to look at your reflection. You might have reached for the compact nestled at the bottom of your purse, the blurred silhouette of a window or the dip of a dirty teaspoon. What will it take for you to decide that what looks back at you? More importantly, how long will it be before you change again? This transitory relationship is explored as the Lakeside Arts Centre exhibits the work of several U.K and Asian artists look at the fragile nature of our own perspective in Dust On The Mirror.

Welcomed into a lofty bright hall, symmetry and chaos is juxtaposed, as pieces cluttered with shadows and misshapes, stand opposite the angular and organised. First are a series of tall, sprawling, haunted canvases, adorned with smoke patterns, scratches and scripture. Piercing through them are ordered yet murky beams of light, tempting you away from the finer details amidst the dark. The exhibit takes its name from one of this series by Christopher Cook, which uses fine metals and graphite to produce damaged effects and scatological patterns against large panelling. They have the feel and look of a burnt piece of film; in ruin but scattered with a hint of some memory or thought.

Susan Degrees - Shoreline
Shoreline by Susan Degrees

You are then drawn towards an annexed selection of video art, central and to the rear of the exhibition; it's arrangement strengthens the themes of subconscious thought and memory as we move further "towards the dark". In Susan Derges' Hermetica a small screen plays a single drop of mercury falling against the oscillation of a high pitched speaker. The liquid explodes and spreads before oozing gradually into the centre. A scream reminiscent of Penderecki's Threnody For The Victims of Hiroshima orchestrates this “dance” and is timed perfectly to the confusion of the piece. Hermetica's hypnotic quality invites you to search for meaning out of the thousands of patterns formed in a matter of minutes. In a sense it's disappointing that this isn't made the focal point of the exhbit. The choice to use Charwei Tsai’s Sea Mantra, adds harmony and balance to the floor but lacks the depth or fine expertise on show elsewhere.

Also of note are Derge’s Shoreline pieces (see right); technical marvels that clone the gravitational movements of current and tide on light sensitive papers; Siân Bowen’s Of Dust series, where bold geometrical patterns stand awkwardly against delicate subjects and materials and Donna Ong’s Three Pieces that present a sophisticated 2.5 dimensional photography of murky scenery and haunted caves. Derges’ contributions however are undoubtedly the strongest, managing to handle Dust On The Mirror’s themes of fragility with a finer balance than perhaps Cook or Tsai.

Fragility, ironically, is what hold’s Dust On The Mirror together. Whilst some of what’s on show may lack a certain depth of their own, they have been thoughtfully curated into a exhibition that toys with your sense of reality and perspective.

Dust On The Mirror is showing at the Lakeside Arts Centre until 31 October 2010.


 

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