December 13, 2017 – February 3, 2018
Examining the relationship between accessible and imaginary space, Elizabeth Houston Gallery presents LIMINAL, a group show whose trilogy of works expose time and space beyond initial availability. Working across diverse mediums, each artist redefines the limits of reality and the constraints of perception. Challenging our collective consciousness, Liminal provides an alternative translation of our environment. Disrupting and affirming our reliance on visual perception, each work offers an alternate framework to reimagine our own limits, understanding, and perception.
In his series Bay Views, artist Mark Lyon imagines a world using self-service car bays as windows into the surrounding horizon. Examining vistas of solitude, each photograph provides a frame to an otherwise concealed landscape. Capturing the light present during periods of daylight and darkness, Lyon documents the passing of time, as the audience moves along with the artist from winter into spring. Appropriating from the familiar visuals of upstate New York, Lyon reexamines the momentary and mundane, presenting a prospect of otherworldliness. Endowed with a silence, a stillness, the viewer discovers an aperture into an otherwise unseen frame.
Unifying the traditional dichotomy between sculpture and painting, artist Rachel Hellmann uses light and shadow to orchestrate dialogue between perceived and existing space. Working with solid poplar wood, each work is materialized through the union of meticulous planning and visual movement. Hellmann’s process ensures that each piece is cut and fit precisely, constructing each wooden fold to resemble the architecture of a colorful origami or the aesthetic of a paper fan. Finished with bright acrylic hues, the natural shadows of the wood play into the perceived shadows created by varying shades of color. An experiment inbuilt space, each of Hellmann’s works provides encouragement for the viewer to examine the work from all sides. The participant’s movement becomes an essential component of the work, as the movement allows for changes in light and shadow on the object itself. The reality of each piece is not absolute. Instead, Hellmann presents a malleable truth. Depending on the position of the audience relative to the work, truth becomes a subjective game of perception.
Set in a prehistoric burial site in the south of England, artist Colin Hunt’s Afterlife envisions the possibility of multiple realities within a single frame. Collectively, the series questions our understanding of shared knowledge and lived experience, while offering a visually and ideologically surreal alternative. Drawing inspiration from the Avebury Neolithic henge, each of Hunt’s paintings confronts concerted assumptions of death and the afterlife, providing greater flexibility in how we imagine the mysteries surrounding death, “how we live with it and how the enormity of one’s life can co-exist with the hole of their non-being”. Establishing a language to explore beyond our preliminary awareness, Hunt probes a communal understanding of memory, referencing larger narratives that extend beyond the individual. A step outside Plato’s Cave, Hunt presents a possibility to reach a location to which we have no access. A portal beyond conventional awareness, Hunt captures multiple experiences, through the unification of multiple points across space and time.
– Alison Roberts
Alison Roberts is an independent critic, curator, and press manager for emerging culture. Her writings on art, design, and culture have appeared in various publications including VICE’s The Creators Project.