5 November 2020 – 9 January 2021
The five possible Platonic Solid Shapes have the following three conditions:
1 – The shape must fit inside of a sphere: all the corners or vertices have to touch the inside of the sphere.
2 – The shape must have all its faces or polygons the same length
3 – Every edge length must be the same.
In my new work I am looking at forms that we think we already know, and which we take for granted. I started with looking at triangles of diverse angles, then diamond shapes, developing to hexagrams and tilted cubes, as the shapes became more solid.
Whereas in my previous work, I looked for the abstract way of looking at physical disruptions to human existence like earthquakes or floods, or what is involved in rebuilding a city on top of its ruins, this new series called “Solid Shapes” is searching for a more solid representation to explain where we are, in this one place and at this particular moment.
In my earlier paintings, I had taken the square and distorted it, calling it an irregular square, because the viewer accepts this visual paradox, though my squares no longer fitted the necessary requirements of geometric precision. The visual and physical distortion invites an emotional response from the viewer and gives room for memory and associations.
Because most Polyhedrons and solid shapes are really just compounds of triangular forms pressing inwards and outwards, and connected at vertices and edges, I began drawing solid shapes by hand without geometric aids or tools, getting closer to the abstraction of the forms through repetitive lineal exploration. The drawing of the shapes within the pictorial space is loose, allowing for distortion. Through the repetition of the triangular form, the lines are both fragile and have a reinforced intensity within the solid shapes.
This time of general insecurity, and the effects of the changes to our human interaction, has created the need for our central values to hold strong, while a shuffling of priorities is taking place. I’ve been thinking about ideas from Levi-Strauß and Lacan about our myths of identity having a subjective structural basis, and refer to lines from W.B.Yeats’ “Second Coming”- “The centre will not hold”. We adapt quickly to new rules, habits and procedures when they are required and necessary, but thereby change not only our personal interactions with the outside world, but also how we think about ourselves.
“Solid Shapes” explores through composition, the isolation within our new social groups and the growing reluctance to engage in human interaction.
The chosen colour palette tones of lemon, lime, violet pink and blues of the new work, create a sense of artificiality, they flatten the space, do not necessarily adhere to representational rules of colour as pertains to natural light and form, but rather have to do with the inner workings of painting itself, forcing the negative space and positive space to coexist within the pictorial space as a whole. The many layers of precise differentiations of colour determine how we perceive the form and also define the space within which it is drawn.
It feels as if the things are falling apart, and we are trying to cling to an ever faster changing world, trying to make sense of whom we are and what may come.
Angela Dwyer, October 2020
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