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Skins of the River

Camera-less photograms by emerging artist Nikala Bourke

About

An enthralling body of work comprised of camera-less photograms that capture the relationship between light, shadow and the beautiful wildness of water.

The water phenomenon is translated into unique images, revealing a natural language of symbols and traces onto large-scale photographic paper and digitally, within luminous light boxes.

The work is intended to persuade the audience to contemplate immersion within water. Emerging artist Nikala Bourke wanted to create a sensual connection with the experience of water materiality, enabling a close up encounter of the eloquent and cosmic patterns made by nature itself.

Nikala’s work is comprised of several large scale, black and white photograms taken in the waters of the River Mouth at Kingston Beach. These images are camera-less photograms capturing the relationship between light, shadow and water.

Collaborating with the environment of Browns River at night time, Nikala interacted with the water, imprinting the marks and forms made by the movement of fluid and sand onto photographic paper. hand cut, photosensitised sheets were submerged into the water and exposed with light. The landscape acting as a dark room, and the water a negative. The dynamic aquatic forces are revealed in the chemical developing process of the dark room.

The large scale photograms are intended to persuade the audience to contemplate immersion within water, making a sensual connection with the ‘experience of water materiality’, with a direct relationship in scale to the body. This work was inspired by the process of English Artist Susan Derges.

As well, Nikala has converted small areas of some photograms (scanned and photographed digitally) and displayed them within A2 light boxes. These illuminate the intricate detail and phenomenal activity that this process reveals, enabling a close up experience of the eloquent patterns made by nature itself. Infinitely complex and never ending patterns that repeat themselves across the universe on a microscopic to macroscopic spectrum.

The water phenomenon is translated into unique images, revealing a natural language of symbols and traces: cosmic phenomena of the river contents, mirroring it’s motion, strangeness, wildness, stillness and peace. The large photograms, as authentic objects in themselves, as well as the minute intricate detail within the light boxes hold cosmic associations that reflect the composition of our world. This picture of Chaos – never-ending and infinitely complex patterns – are fractals. They are self-similar across the many different scales of nature, including body fluid, skin, flowers, trees, rivers, sea shells, mountains, clouds and the galaxies above.

Water has soothing and healing qualities, specifically within the context of the intriguing beach front and river mouth setting. This is my way of sharing the emotion of place, my haven, and the deep feelings arising when there. It is my hope that this body of work may encourage meditation and contemplative presence – slowing down and allowing mindful space, enabling thought and reflection.

EXHIBITION DATES:
Saturday 7 January – Monday 13 February 2017

EXHIBITION OPENING:
Friday 6 January 2017 @ 5:30pm
Exhibition to be opened by Brigita Ozolins

ARTIST TALK:
Saturday 7 January 2017, 11:00am – 12:00noon
Find out more about the exhibited works and the process used to create them.

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Skins of the River

77 Salamanca Place, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia

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