First critique of spring semester 2022
KEYWORDS: Winter, monochrome, warm white and winter blues, light reflecting on snow, warm sun reflecting on ice, cold warm, blue and white, yellow whites, winter whites, néant, openness, wide, beyond perception, absence, wideness, optical phenomena.
- Cool vs warm light
- Finding ways to capture and reflect the light from different context
- Atmospheric ambiance
- Meditative space/object
- 4th dimension: Light animating object
Learning from previous research
Light vs Atmosphere
Building on my first light installation back in September 2021, I want to explore further with the combination of cool and warm lights. The first light installation used a sets of LED lights positioned on the floor. The shadow created from this light source became quite dramatic and theatrical. Although I like the visual atmosphere it created, I want to achieve something less dramatic for this new installation. Building on this previous experience, I want to make the lighting invisible to the viewer and instead focus on the atmospheric result and the impact this type of lighting has on the space and the artwork.
Matte and reflective oil paints will be used in order to reflect or absorb the light. The goal here is to allow for the artwork to render the light visible. The painting is a redo of Blue Element #9 from my previous installation. This time, the large scale will become almost like a portal, a size big enough for one to enter. 72″ x 58″
Magog, January 22nd 2022. My grand mother is turning 100 today and I am here to celebrate her. We are in covid times and the province of Quebec has the most severe covid restriction of all provinces. It is impossible to see anyone, to gather, or to celebrate. All restaurants are closed and nothing is happening. My grandmother tested negative this morning, so did I and she is granted permission to have one visitor a day. And today I’m it. My emotions are raw and contradict each other . I am sad and I want to celebrate. I feel empowered and powerless. I want to scream and talk softly at the same time. Fortunately I woke up to sunshine this morning which calms me and reminds me that I only have now and that I better enjoy this moment. I need to go for a walk and bask in the sun.
I step outside and it hits me. It’s -32. The nostrils of my nose are stuck together and breathing hurts. The sun is shining and reflecting on the snow so strongly that I can barely see and now my eyes are watering and that is never a good thing when it’s that cold. I venture a bit further and decide to walk towards the waterfront. I know from previous visits that they turn the pathway into an ice path in the winter and I want to see it. However by the time I get to the waterfront I am so cold that the only thing I am looking for is shelter. Fortunately, there is an outdoor fireplace. As I am warming my hands and body, I can relax a bit and start to appreciate my surroundings. The immensity of a snow covered landscape hits me. The lake is frozen rendering it larger than usual. Everything is so bright, cool looking and cold that it feels like the time has stopped. It is calm, peaceful, serene but it feels unnatural for a place that is normally full of people. The ice path is empty, I guess it’s covid, there are no tourists around and the locals are founding it too cold for skating. In fact, there is barely anyone which is the perfect situation for me. I like the feeling of witnessing something that no one else is seeing. I get completely disconnected from my moment cause I’m freezing. That fireplace is not enough to really warm things up. I am starting to wonder how I will make it back home in this cold and my notion of distance is totally askew by my fear of freezing. So I fight the fear and walk extremely fast back to my condo and my own fireplace which I stoke generously upon entering.
3:00pm or 15:00h in Quebec. My eyes rise from the computer and I get this impulse of being outside again. The sun is still shining and I see diamond dust from the window. Diamond dust is a type of precipitation composed of ice crystals which often seem to float in the air. (More on that later as I am creating another painting from that memory) The sun is starting to fall on the horizon and the snow quality appears completely different. It appears warm and more creamy than earlier. It must be warmer. Don’t fool yourself, my phone confirms that it’s still -28. Knowing about the outdoor fireplaces now, I make it my goal. This time the feeling is totally different. The snow is so warm looking that I am feeling somewhat warmer. Nothing has really changed and yet, I feel embraced by the warmth of the sun in a different way. I also see and understand the snow differently. The sun is leaning towards a warm yellow almost pinkish colour and as a result the snow feels and look completely different. More welcoming, more relax, more positive. The snow which had a blueish coolness earlier is now cream, yellow, pink and orange at the same time. Why I’m I seeing it that way? My shadow is a cool mauve which helps me see the yellowness of the snow, or does it make is appeared more yellow because of it’s contrast. Albers theory of colours sparked in my mind. I document. I take photos, I am trying to capture this effect, this moment, this emotion and the feeling I get. I am trying to understand logically what is happening and yet it doesn’t explain my feeling. The emotion is not capture in the photo but the contrast of warm and cool is apparent. I need to paint and I know exactly which pigment to use to reproduce this buttery effect. Few years ago, I found a tube of Michael Harding lead white replacement that has exactly the quality of that snow. Warm, buttery, welcoming and satisfying. I need to materialize this emotion, this contradiction, this relationship between cool and warm. I am obsessed. How can I render something visible that is not. It only lives in me. This contradiction.
The painting is now drying in the studio.
First installation test with lighting scheduled for February 24-28th, 2022