THE HOURS WE WAIT - 2017
Essay by Haley Craw
THE HOURS WE WAIT, an exhibition featuring work by Dominic Pinney and Ryan Danny Owen explores the relationship of light and form as it relates to notions of passing time and transition. The passage of time as manifested in the light; in the blending of colours, the reflection of surrounding space, and the shifting of light with the passing of bodies.
Upon entering the gallery you encounter the piece REMINDER by Ryan Danny Owen, an aluminum circle engraved with the text 'WATCH FOR THE LIGHT RESTLESS LOVE', propped against the wall with a wooden doweling rod. in the center of the room is Dominic Pinney's OVERSIGHT, four triangular pillars pointing outwards with red and blue fluorescent light, casting a subtle pink upon the room. The light casts upon the doweling rod and circle to create an implied sun dial or clock, the shadow of the rod casts a suggested moment in time captured within the circle. Time is suspended in this piece, only activated by the passing of bodies that interrupt the light, fragmenting the frozen moment. The Coming and going of people, the beginning and ending of relationships, or perhaps the more complex transition of relationships when they are shifted within physical space, held together but altered. Watching the light restlessly, as the text implies, portrays an urgent sense of anticipation of change. The restless lover waits for the moment of change, a moment experienced throughout the rest of the work in the show.
The light from OVERSIGHT casts blue, red, and pink upon the space and forms of the other work. In between the forms no light is produced, the centre is the space of the unknown, literally lacking the light that defines a passing moment. Change itself hinges on the unknown; transition is continuously occurring yet there is never a moment in which it can be fully defined, it is always indeterminate. These forms cast light upon Ryan Danny Owen's piece NIGHTHAWKS, a photograph on the floor held down by a rock on each corner. The image is ambiguous, lit with the same red and blue, it portrays a texture reminiscent of wood or skin. This image freezes the light as a snapshot, and although it is ambiguous it is undeniably a moment that has passed, held down by the rocks with a sentimental heaviness. With the passage of time and the transition of people, recognition of how our memories define our lived experience comes to mind crucially. Important, emotionally charged memories can shape our perception of self and our relationships with others, as well as make it difficult to accept continual change. The photograph speaks to the unknown of transition; the memories continuously slipping in and out of one's mind that can no longer be physically re-experienced. Passing and frozen, momentary and all consuming, the line between memories from the past and the future we imagine for ourselves fuse in the colliding red and blue light.
Initially out of view upon entering the gallery, around the corner is a small space within the architecture housing the final piece, FAREWELL, a collaborative piece by the two artists that is a large sign stating 'FAREWELL'. The sign is also lit with the red and blue of time, casting its transitional meaning as a diffused pink. This placement portrays this piece as a thought hidden at the back of your mind, yet when that corner is navigated it speaks with both a confident presence and a subdued sadness. This piece is the recognition of change, it is the moment that has been implied and is now being confronted directly. Reminiscent of a large sign that would adorn a hotel, it speaks directly to the body leaving a place. The brush strokes apparent in the black bring the body to this piece, one person saying goodbye to another in a way that is at once grand and subtle, obvious and hidden. The sign is a parting gesture that only holds meaning when lit from within; without the passage of time a farewell does not hold the same emotional heaviness. Without beginning a relationship a farewell is never necessary, a notion linked to the circular shape first encountered in REMINDER. A painful goodbye recognizes the beauty of a relationship that has grown with the passing of time. Intangible memories and an indeterminate future collide as you watch the light shift according to the presence of those who mean the most to you.
The hours we wait; watching the passage of time in the light, the movement of bodies and of relationships both close and far, the moments spent anticipating but never knowing how change will occur. The bathing light upon the forms and space in this exhibit speak to memories and a perceived future, the continual human experience of transition. Waiting to say farewell is similar to trying to relive a memory. Both cannot be physically grasped in the present moment and both are manifested as fractured light.