Un Soleil Quai 5160 – Maison de la culture de Verdun July 9 to Septembre 25, 2022 Maija Annikki Savolainen, Jaakko Mattila, Erik Nieminen, Julie Trudel
‘Un Soleil’ Writer: Mojeanne Behzadi
“Plunging ever more deeply into winter and night, I wander through my faery palaces of light. Another sun rising in my heart, I awaken a spring within, warming the world with the fires of imagination.” – Charles Baudelaire “Landscape” translated into English by James McColley Eilers (2010)
Light is a source. It is a source of existence, spirituality, science, thought, and creation. This exhibition brings together the work of four artists who connect in their exploration of light as a way to bring to the surface phenomena that are otherwise invisible, infinitesimal, and mysterious. Jaakko Mattila, Erik Nieminen, Maija Savolainen, and Julie Trudel work in a range of mediums and yet each is invested in working through different materialities that reflect light as a way to examine what perception systems reveal about sunlight and its properties.
Through meticulous examination and rigorous method, each practice reveals an invisible layer of reality just beyond reach that awakens endless possibilities. Here, the artists draw from contemporary technologies as well as timeless principles and processes to expand our field of perception and widen our access to phenomena, both natural and manufactured. Through mediated light, the works propel us into another world, under another sun. The electromagnetic spectrum and its chromatic aspects are here explored through both abstract and figurative painting, photography, and installation in a stimulating visual conversation between the artists whose individual practices playfully nod to one another and present new paths for exploration and creation.
In his paintings, Jaakko Mattila uses techniques of illusion to highlight and heighten humans’ limited chromatic experience. His latest watercolours present almost invisible tones that add a spectral presence to the otherwise bright white medium. His approach evokes a spectral field of vision, on the dark side of the moon.
Colour is the focus of Julie Trudel’s paintings, through the use of unique processes and specific materials. In her latest series, she achieved 3D paintings transmuted by light through the use of fluorescent Plexiglas as support, overlapping its colour with that of the walls and of discreet paint gradients.
In her practice, Maija Savolainen is interested in the photographic process as a series of gestures through which light is transformed from one state to another. Through her work, she explores this process of light reactivity using photography, plants, robotics, and text, showing the interconnectivity of both objects and living things and their respective ways of receiving light.
By experimenting with casting light on various plastics and transparent materials out in the world, Erik Nieminen begins his paintings through an exploration of the patterns and shapes and colours that projected light reveals. These initial moments of aesthetic interest intuitively guide the direction and content of each of his compositions. He also uses fragments of photos and videos in this process, creating alternate realities, at once figurative and abstract.