Limbo

Limbo has been a familiar state of mind over the past few years. This show takes its title from this shared experience of waiting within a transitional space, isolated, unsure of when or if it will end or change. The title work Limbo is one of the smallest in the show. It situates a minimal figure within this limbo world. At rest this character is both viewer and subject. A quiet participant waiting while this world of gestures plays out around them. Other works such as River Sticks, a play on the river Styx, acknowledge this limbo state between life and the afterlife. The show opens up an existential space in which to ponder the various structures present within it. In doing so acknowledging the space and time we have had to ponder our own position within the structures of our modern society.

While we navigate these twisted forms, certain titles of works speak to things we may tell ourselves. Words of affirmation, introspection, or support. Specific works take their titles from such idioms as Pull Yourself Togetheror Falling Over Myself. There is a repression of anxiety present in these concepts. I think that we have all struggled with being cut off and at times said to ourselves ‘Just don’t let it get you down’.

While the show speaks to themes of life and death, dark and light, there is also a sense of hope and frivolity in the joy of colour and movement. There is a light-hearted playfulness to the simple gesture of applying paint to a surface with a big brush. Its enjoyable. The physically meandering and looping brush movement is further explored through the sculptural work Lean Into Me. This work pulls itself out of the flattened plane of the paintings and steps onto the floor. Bringing with it a very purposeful sense of human scale to its movement. The gestured colour across its surface shifts the personality of the work as you move around it. Creating new compositions as you lean in and out from the work.

Each colour has its own feeling and personality. Each sit at a different level of resonance. Colours here are notes on a musical scale, each with their own pitch and harmony. They sit at their own frequency. Sometimes in harmony and sometimes in opposition. Hues can create a gentle melody or a clashing cacophony. Some ask for space while others embrace the company, melting into each other.

In making these works I aim for the process and the result to be a similar experience for myself and the viewer. I wish for there to be an immediacy to the painting and through this the possibility for surprise or delight in the application and the unique combination of colours. As if as your eye followed this linear path of light you were able to have the same experience of the nuance, comfort or electric fizz generated by specific colours newly encountered or overheard in conversation.

There is a patchwork quality to the work. The underlying, continuous, form implies a history of being a coherent solid path. I wanted the shifting sections to have a sense of being repaired or patched over an underlying framework. These repairs imply time. These changes in time also bring about a variegation in the composition and colour relationships within the twisting and doubled forms. The titles I am employing often refer the shape back to the body in different states or mind frames. The body as a site and facilitator of movement, traced in this instance by the brush. It is a record of physical existence.

Light prevails as a key access point to these works. Colour is light and light is the sun. Sun #3 is the third in an ongoing series using an octagonal framing device to explore colour relationships. The central void becoming an emoji style sun. The sun being our source of light and ultimately the giver of life to our planet. The dialogue with light as a shifting presence is prominent throughout the exhibition. Whether through the chalky white backgrounds, the contrasting and transparently vibrant hues or through the textured reflections present in the aluminium works, there is an embrace of this intangible, untouchable substance through which we navigate the world around us.

The space within these works is created for the viewer to spend time with, fall into, navigate, to pause and rest.

Belem Lett, June 2022