Searching for Optical Wonder
Colleen Quigley

Vernissage: September 12th 2015, 6-9pm
Exhibition Dates: September 12th – October 21st, 2015
Searching for Optical Wonder - programme notes

   

XVA Gallery is pleased to announce Colleen Quigley’s upcoming solo exhibition Searching for Optical Wonder. In this body of work Quigley experiments with techniques using wax, reflective materials, ceramic, collage and laser cut acrylic, to create a visually stimulating experience for the viewer. Quigley’s interest lies in sensorial effect and perception of what color is in isolation, in changing light, in surface and texture, and how color appears to us in a context with another color within a given shape. Using Islamic design as a framework in which to structure and cultivate her exploration (with compositions focusing on repetition, continuous variation and juxtaposition of color andpattern), Quigley successfully encourages the viewer to contemplate the materiality of art (the handmade and the machine made), the sensory relationship between the viewer and the art object, and the physical experience in experiencing art.
 
Please join the artist and XVA for the opening night, from 6-9pm on the 12th of September in the AlFahidi Historical Neighborhood. Dubai-based composer and conductor Barnaby Priest will open the exhibition with musical performance he has written for harp and flute. His recent work concentrates on exploring asound world that uses a limited diatonic palette.  His music is associated with the Nuova Consonanza branch of post-minimalist music.
 
Artist Statement:
 
My new body of work combines Islamic patterns and the mediums of encaustic, collage, ceramics, reflective materials and laser cut acrylics to explore ways in which color and light interact upon these various surfaces and create a visual perception that goes beyond looking at the surface.   I want the work to establish an immediate relationship with the viewer.
 
The Mashallah Red, Blue, and Yellow Series combine hundreds of hand-printed and glazed, small ceramic hexagonal tiles embedded in milky, translucent encaustic (beeswax and resin) which float up at different depths creating a visual and harmonious sensory perception of color and light. 
 
The Reflecting Blue, Yellow and Red series are the results of experiments with multiple compositions which combine Islamic design with reflective materials and laser cut acrylic.  These compositions focus on repetition and continuous variation and juxtaposition of color and pattern.  My interest lies in sensorial effect and perception of what the color is in isolation, in changing light and how color appears to us in a context with another color within a given shape – its resulting interaction and our sensory perception of it.  The use of reflective materials creates a momentary flash as if to announce the arrival or presence of something of note.  The pieces are meant to capture the attention of the viewers and then to interact with them as the perception of the reflecting surface changes depending on where the viewers’ position is in relation to them.  The Islamic motifs call attention to the presence and dynamism of Islamic cultural patterns in a multicultural setting.
 
The Reflecting Wall is a collection of repeating intricately cut acrylic mirrored Islamic designs in which the viewers become part of the work and reflections create new colors and reflections depending on where the viewer stands.   Ultimately I want the viewer to think about the materiality of art (the handmade and themachine made), the sensory relationship between the viewer and art, and theimportance of the physical experience in experiencing art.
 
With this body of work, I try to develop a complex yet simple visual vocabulary to explore perception of memory (time and place), the transient nature of color and light, and the materiality of art.
 
Colleen Quigley, 2015
 
About Colleen Quigley:
 
Colleen Quigley received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. and MFA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, in Tokyo, Japan where she focused on contemporary Japanese printmaking.  She also attended the New York Academy of Art Graduate Program in Figurative Studies in Painting. Her work includes painting, sculpture/installation and encaustic. She has exhibited in Italy, Japan, the United States and the U.A.E. Her current research interests include post modern strategies of artmaking in relation to themes of originality, art history, popular culture, and memory.  Quigley resides in Dubai in the U.A.E. where she is Assistant Professor in Visual Art at the College of Art and Creative Enterprises on the Dubai campus at ZayedUniversity.   .