Consuelo Cavaniglia, the light that catches – Eleanor Zeichner
Consuelo Cavaniglia’s interdisciplinary practice explores spatiality and site, creating subtle illusions that remind us of the shifting boundaries of vision and feeling, or as the artist states “things are unfixed, movable and in constant flux”. Her sculptural installations distort and rearrange our expectation of a single perspective, providing multiple and sometimes disorienting viewpoints for the encounter with the object. Her upcoming solo exhibition ‘the light that catches’ furthers the artist’s recent investigations into the mutability of recognition.
In 2016 Cavaniglia was awarded the prestigious NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) at Artspace, through which she has undertaken research at Dia: Beacon and the Dan Flavin Institute in New York City. Partway through this fellowship period, she shares that “being able to see the work of Dan Flavin was influential – his use of geometry, colour and light has effected the way I have been thinking through all three within my work”. In the next phase of her research, Cavaniglia will study at the Lucio Fontana Foundation in Milan and work with experimental musician Robin Hayward in Berlin. She looks forward to the European stint of her research and the prospect of collaborating with Hayward to explore “the use of colour in space in relation to music”. Flavin’s influence is evident in this body of work, which extends her previous experimentations with site and scale to more directly incorporate the presence her audience.
Comprising wall-based and sculptural works, ‘the light that catches’ makes distinctive use of mirrored surfaces, incorporating tinted mirror and glass to evoke subtle visual illusions. Geometric planes are created and disrupted by intersecting light, creating a sense of flux. As Cavaniglia explains, “this is not evident or ‘activated’ until someone steps into the space, so in some ways it could be said that the work is not complete until a person steps into the space of the reflection.” Sculptural forms in galvanised steel also provide apertures through which we observe these shifting planes, unsure whether the geometric forms are solid, void or tricks of the eye.
Use of colour is an important aspect of Cavaniglia’s practice, often restricted to monochrome with one or two bold and illuminating shades of orange, yellow or green. Her approach to colour in the ‘light that catches’ is similarly restrained, with an intense shade of blue providing contrast. Employed in framed wall works in sheets of acrylic these objects evoke windows or mirrors, but rather than giving a straightforward line of sight they split observation from knowing, imploring the viewer to surrender their understanding of space to the uncertain experience of the senses.
Kronenberg Wright Artist Projects 15 September to 7 October, 2017 Sydney
Untitled, 2017, galvanised steel, board, grey mirror, acrylic, 170 x 30 x 30cm Courtesy the artist and Kronenberg Wright Artist Projects, Sydney