Samstag Museum: Duality of Light

'Duality of Light' is a New media exhibition using video instillation, photography and film to create immersive and intimate artworks.
Samstag Museum: Duality of Light
I held a bowl in my hands and in that bowl I could see the microcosm of the universe. Duality of Light is a New media exhibition using video instillation, photography and film to create immersive and intimate artworks. Duality of Light is held in the Samstag Museum which is a relatively new, impressive contemporary gallery space in Adelaide City’s West, and is shown over two floors. The works are well placed to allow each work space to exist without being encumbered, or encroached upon by other works allowing the viewer to make a connection with each work individually. Installations like Hold: Vessel 1 and 2 and Duality Of Light were shown in isolation, which built up an environment for viewing and interacting with the art works that gives a sense of other worldliness. Duality of Light, an art installation with the same name as the exhibition, is a totally immersive environment. Only one person is allowed to enter at a time to walk into the pitch black darkness towards the scant light at the end. The journey is both intimidating, because until your eyes fully adjust you are walking into total darkness, and intensely liberating as you feel emersed in this other world. Sounds of gentle dripping water are all around you in the darkness, while you journeying forward to the gentle patterning of light. There is an innate feeling of peace and while many people may find the darkness confronting, I found it comforting. Three video works were also featured in this exhibition. One work, Invisible by Night invites the view to make a personal connection with a pacing figure seen through blurry glass, thick with condensation. A gentle touch to the video image halts her movement as she slowly wipes her finger across the glass to reveal her eyes. She stares out to the viewer for a moment creating a connection, before the condensation swallows her again and she returns to her pacing. Of all the works in this exhibition I feel drawn back to Hold: Vessel 1 and 2. It feels somewhat ‘wrong’ to walk up to a plinth, in an art exhibition, and remove the softly curved bowl from the top of it but this simple act invites an intimacy and connection that would be lost if the personal connection of ‘touch and carry’ were not present. There is something wholly cathartic in holding a bowl in a beam of light and capturing visions of a drifting galaxy or alienesque deep sea creatures. Holding the bowl cupped in you hands gives you a feeling that you are truly holding existence in your hands. A major element in this exhibition is interaction between viewer and artwork. There is an inherent sense of peace and personal exploration. The viewer can connect with these artworks both emotionally and physically as most involve some form of physical interaction whether it is by touching, holding or walking through the artwork. There are strong elements of the Postmodern sublime, and the use of technology both enables these works to exist as well as maintaining visual arts contemporary edge, engaging with an evermore technologically sophisticated culture. Title of Event: Duality of Light Artists: Lynette Wallworth Diary details • Venue: Samstag Museum • Show times: 9 – 5 Tuesday to Saturday • Show dates: 19 Feb to 24 April • Cost of tickets: free

Jade Wildy

Friday 20 March, 2009

About the author

Jade Wildy is an art theorist and historian based in Adelaide, Australia and she is currently studying for a Masters of Art History at the University of Adelaide. Jade holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, with a major in ceramics from the University of South Australia. Jade aspires to become an art writer and researcher to pursue her love of visual art and art history. Her current research interests centre around contemporary art with a particular focus on Environmental Art, but she also has a love for psychology, biology and contemporary culture through art, music and dance. Jade enjoys working in her established home studio, as well as fiction and arts writing, and have written numerous reviews for ArtsHub Australia on both visual and performing arts in addition to several book reviews.