Helen Booth and Synapse

The current exhibition showing at Oriel Mwldan is ‘Synapse’ by Helen Booth, an artist who showed previously at Mwldan in 2007, and who was awarded the prestigious Pollock Krasner award in 2012. Her work with installation, drawing and painting is all about interconnectedness, some of  which is explored through works in graphite and oil on gesso, and some with paint, and most interesting in this particular show in an installation titled ‘Strings’. This piece is composed of multi-layers of strings, some hanging in dense cluster, and others drawn out and stretched, capturing something akin to the complexity of the threads of a spider’s web. Periodically a light sweeps across the strings, which highlights the darker corners of it, and illuminates the mass from which the detail is drawn, and the fact that all is connected. The work is inspired by The Nature of Spirit a work written by Alan Turing in the mid-1930s. Turing’s work indicates the idea that there is a direct connection between the internal workings of the brain and the universe as a whole, and the more one looks at the work on display the more one sees the connectedness everywhere. Along with the installation are largely monochrome paintings and drawings the essence of which is the effect of light, in ‘Separation’ the image captured is from the view in the artist’s studio window during the winter, and the presence of snow, and the skeletal landscape are the central theme of the picture. The more geometric pieces as in ‘Hidden Landscape’ bring out once more the idea that beyond everything we see in natural colours and shapes there is a structure which is joining the one to the many, and through the fragile imagery the artist attempts to illuminate those things which might normally be lost in the darkness which is in opposite to the light. This is an experimental work in total, by a conceptual artist who is attempting to encapsulate difficult ideas into a form which will be both enjoyable to the observer and offer them food for thought. In her own words ‘Light makes geometry of landscapes and rock formations and distills everything else – skeletal trees and melancholy weather – to scratches, scuffs and scars.’ Synapse is showing at Oriel Mwldan  until 17 May 2014

A conversation with Helen about the exhibition can be seen on theCul Culture Colony website

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