Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Kelly Richardson - Pillars of Dawn at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

Kelly Richardson's current exhibition, Pillars of Dawn at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, (NGCA) features a new video animation and a number of large digital prints. The landscapes that Richardson has created are empty with no sign of animals or humans. The trees are formed from thousands of crystals that glisten in the twilight.

As we enter the gallery the invigilator explains how the artist has requested that the gallery be dark, and therefore he will close the door. This is no surprise to me, especially given the content of the work. As I watched the video I was bothered by the fact that I could see two of the digital prints in my peripheral vision. These distracted me, preventing me from devoting my full attention to the video. They also lit up the space and made me conscious of the other people in the gallery. I turned around to find that the invigilator had opened the door again and light was pouring in again. I wanted to feel immersed in the landscape, and yet the clinking of the coffee cups in the cafe and the warmth of the gallery felt too comfortable. Perhaps if there was a gentle breeze of cool air, and with no distractions from noise or light, it would be more engaging.

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