Coldharbour London Gallery houses the installation “The Inception of Line” within its white-walled, airy, refurbished warehouse setting, perfect to view the works by artists Keke Vilabelda and Kate Terry.
At first glance, you only see paintings hanging on white walls in an open room, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the threads of neon colors stretched across the room. So understated are they that, at times, you might only see them right before you walk into them.
But with light hitting these strings at different angles, you’ll notice the beautiful subtlety of the work: stretched across the length of the room, the parallel lines of thread are at equal distances from one another, producing the illusion of infinite geometry within the constraints of the room. These threads are curved at slow sloping twists, adding subtle dynamism to the installation.
Like strings on a harp, the threads produce a visual musicality that creates a harmonic balance within the enclosed space, and complements the stark urban landscapes of the paintings on the surrounding walls. Keke Vilabelda’s paintings feature black and white oil and acrylic paintings that emerge from digital media, but are rendered into compositions that masterfully combine the geometries of urban landscapes with the rugged texture of his paint strokes.
Both installations discuss the nature of perception. Kate Terry’s threads force us to alter our perception of what we see in front of us, as we must walk below the threads, look up into them, and view them at different angles in order to take in the details, the faint changes of space, and slowly arching curves. She hints at the infinite, and the changes within the continuum of time and space that are so subtle that we might just miss them if we are not careful.
Keke Vilabelda’s paintings thrust us into a world of dualities, a world in which our perception of nature is first questioned, then pixelated, and finally reconfigured. His paintings, usually acrylic and oil on concrete, address the question of “what is a landscape?”
Each of his works responds by combining urban landscapes with elements of nature. He paints with thick linear and geometric forms, but these forms are rough, wobbly, and a little bit messy with heavy texture and movement. Seemingly unrelated geometric shapes overlain on the surface of the compositions discuss the concept of the man-made as being at times intrusive, and at others beautiful and welcome. The works produce a feeling of a diffused reality, a reality filtered through perceptions of the mind.
Both installations force us into a state of mind in which we confront the idea of inhabitation of space. Kate Terry’s installation is intrusive yet peacefully introspective. We are forced to interact with it, to walk around it, to bend our necks to avoid hitting it, and in this interaction, we confront the nature of our own inhabitation of space in our own lives. Similarly, Keke Vilabelda’s works are overlain with bold geometric shapes, also calling into question the nature of human inhabitation of different landscapes.
If you’re interested in works of art by up-and-coming artists, be sure to check out “The Inception of Line” at Coldharbour Studio, which ends 22 April. The Gallery is located in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton.