Con­suelo Ca­vaniglia, the light that catches – Eleanor Ze­ich­ner

Art Almanac - - NEWS - Eleanor Ze­ich­ner Eleanor Ze­ich­ner is a writer from Syd­ney and cur­rent As­sis­tant Cu­ra­tor at UTS Gallery.

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

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