On until 30 July
Opening preview: Sunday 12 July, 2 – 4pm
Through each semi-transparent work in Kathryn Stevens’ latest exhibition, Surfacing, a playful tension ensues in which one has a sense of shapes and forms emerging from beyond the surface. The exhibition title suggests that each surface is a site where two worlds encounter one another: forms that lie ‘beyond,’ surface to interact with forms that have already surfaced or taken shape. That which surfaces becomes perceivable, morphing and changing the visible plane. At the same time, forms that already exist on the surface, are altered. It is here that Stevens generates new perceptions of her distinctive floating folds and shapes, creating surfaces that are sites of transformation and possibility.
Such possibilities are partly negotiated by a shift in materials. Stevens has used cast acrylic with adhered silk, and acrylic paint rather than oils, to create a semi-transparent surface. Strips of silk are stretched tightly across the screen, then painted over to adhere them, ensuring the long-term preservation of the fabric. Cast acrylic lends a firm base to each work, while the diaphanous nature of silk adds luminosity to the forms surfacing on the two-dimensional plane. Through this combination, the wooden stretcher behind the screen becomes discernible, suggesting a physicality of each work. The stretcher is intended to be a key element, though not immediately obvious. Stevens explains it is: “taken to a point where the frame appears to be submerging, but it is important that the light can go in there.” The frame is thus part of a dialogue with the forms surfacing, while anchoring a trace of solidity in the image.
(Click HERE for the full essay).
New Zealand Arts Review
Surfacing by John Daly–Peoples