Trapeze Blue is a series of hanging, embossed leather screens that is part of the ‘Colour Field’ exhibition at the Southern Guild Gallery, Cape Town.
Materials: Leather and solid brass.
“In visual perception a colour is almost never seen as it really is — as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art. In order to use colour effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually” – Josef Albers
While considering the title of the exhibition ‘Colour Field’ I looked again at the work and writings of Josef Albers quoted above. Our perception of colour is a complicated concept partly because, technically speaking, there is no colour in the physical universe. What we see as colour is really different wavelengths and intensities of light. Therefore the perception of colour, just like the feeling of pleasure or pain, requires a person to experience it. I have tried to approach the colours of this work in an emotional way.
The panels of Trapeze Blue are abstract impressions of urban reflections through changing moods and light. The thick leather has a sensual and luxurious feel. The embossed patterns create an effect of pixelated brushstrokes and transform the plains of colour adding depth, light and shadows. The impressions are fresh and modern yet carry a sense of familiarity. As you turn around the installation the brass trapeze arms frame the work in parts contrasting with the unframed areas and negative spaces. The brass plates guide the eye from one leather panel to the next, bringing depth and a sense of value to the work.
The different embossing plates and techniques are the outcome of much experimentation. As ever my work is based upon working with with materials up until I find my own way, my own handwriting.
Xavier Clarisse, 2018
Photographs of Trapeze Blue in the Southern Guild Gallery by Kate McLuckie