Reviews, News and Commentary

Kathryn Stevens “Surfacing”

Kathryn Stevens, Cell 4

Kathryn Stevens, Surfacing

Whitespace Gallery

Until July 30

Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples

In her latest exhibition “Surfacing” Kathryn Stevens continues her investigation of analytic abstraction in which she combines elements of architectural space, light, textiles, origami, and landscape to create works which explore connections between shape, light, colour, and perception.

The gallery is dominated by three large works on 3.4 metre sheets of architectural drafting film. This diaphanous material allows light to seemingly flood through the work. Each of the works entitles Surfacing ($7500 each) are monumental in scale  and monochrome in contrast to the more colourful, smaller works in the show.

They convey the idea of movement and drama with a sense of three dimensionality, the overlapping and intersecting shapes describing a topology of landscapes.

The smaller works in the show appear to be complex versions of origami coloured paper folded into shapes with patterns and colour which overlay and intersect.

Some works appear to be strongly derived from architectural shapes as in “Cell 4” ($3500) which could be the corner of an internal room with dramatic lighting.

There is a clever use of colour with all the works with subtle shifts in colour, tones, and shapes. Paralleling this interest in colour  is the astute use of light which defines the architectural and constructed elements as well as creating indefinable abstract spaces. In “Cell 14” ($3500) light appears to overwhelm the coloured environment while in the darker “Cell 5” ($3500)  the light is squeezed out providing a degree of mystery.

With all the works one is conscious of the construction of shapes as the artist says “I simply like being able to see through a structure rather than it being solid; solidity changes the appearance of what is seen or unseen. It is more interesting to see through the scaffolding of a building than the facade that encloses the structure/ It’s less final; there are more possibilities.”

Kathryn Stevens Surfacing 1, 2, 3

By johndpart

Arts reviewer for thirty years with the National Business Review

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