Andrea Hamilton and Aigana Gali
With Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery and Stories of Art
21 - 29 May 2021
68 Kinnerton Street, SW1
Text taken from: aiganagali.com
Aigana Gali and Andrea Hamilton present Light Works, a meditation on light, the theatre of colour and the sacred geometries found in wild places, by artists Andrea Hamilton and Aigana Gali with Manifestations, Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery and supported by Dina Kemal Marchant, founder of Stories of Art.
The exhibition will showcase exclusive, hand-finished Art Couture pieces by Aigana Gali.
To mark the end of lockdown, this lyrical show celebrates how light interacts with the material world to show us essential truths. Like the coming of spring, colours illuminate the underlying structure of our surroundings, give us a sense of time and highlight our place in the world. The exhibition will feature paintings, art couture pieces, murals, photographic works and jewellery, with the pieces showcased tonally, chromatic threads tying the different media into a meditation on the many ways we see and experience colour.
For fine art photographer Andrea Hamilton, painter and textile artist Aigana Gali, and gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani, 2020 was a year of deep reflection and productivity. They have respectively produced some of their most arresting and meaningful bodies of work: Hamilton’s photographic series We Are The Weather and Time and Water; Gali’s automatic paintings and art couture Tengri; and Cipriani’s dynamic jewel collaborations with artists. Whilst working in different media, they are united in subject matter: an exploration of the visible spectrum. Despite coming from very different places with separate practices, their work explores the universal power of colour as experienced in their formative places: the wild expanse of the steppe, the vast span of the ocean and the Cinque Terra. Light Works offers a multidimensional view of colour; questioning not only the way we perceive, but also how different hues affect our relationship to the world and tune our emotions. Gali explores these themes further with her exclusive art couture - a limited edition collection of luxurious coats, jackets and hats with hand applied art, gold leaf, and embroidery.
For Dina Kemal Marchant, the lockdown was equally transformative. Stories of Art started as a curated live lecture series in London, aimed at bringing history of art to life with narratives that revealed the quirky, human side of the story. During lockdown Marchant adapted quickly to online, becoming first an Instagram sensation before moving onto Zoom and developing into a dynamic, international arts education platform reaching audiences from Bolivia to New York via Shanghai.
Gali and Hamilton met thanks to the serendipity of their respective studios being opposite one another on the same street. Hamilton was born in Peru and grew up in the US before settling in London; Gali, of Georgian and Kazakh descent, was raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan, before moving to London. They found that although using different tools, their lines of enquiry were similar – in looking to the truth of colour they found the same source: light. Their work, including Gali’s bespoke couture designs, opens a channel to something wider, outside of themselves, and to how colour and space touches on the spiritual and esoteric, with the coats opening up a new way of expressing this, working as their own unique canvases.
This opened the space for Cipriani’s wearable sculptures, which asks artists to move beyond their normal media and approach the realm of jewellery, by creating innovative and socially conscious jewellery. Cipriani, who is from Rome and maintains her relationship with goldsmiths there, recently joined with Gali on a totem necklace, Hero, made exclusively for Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery. Beyond Gali, her extraordinary roster of collaborators includes luminaries like Ai Weiwei, Jacqueline de Jong, Chiharu Shiota and Rebecca Horn, and pieces of wearable art jewels in the show will focus on the complimentary themes of water, nature and sacred geometries.
Across their respective media, the artists’ work explores how we experience natural beauty and engage with spirituality. Gali states, “My previous series is entitled Steppe, and describes the theatre of colour found in the wide open, empty spaces in central Kazakhstan. When you are in this place, absent of any human constructs, you begin to empty your mind, and then you begin to observe the self, and it is sometimes painful as you must look at every part of the self. It is why in the Steppe we have Tengri, an ancient, silent religion. Tengri see colours as symbolic of the natural order of things. Kok, which describes all the blues and greens means ‘god given’. Tengri itself is ‘a great-blue sky'. Sary describes all the earthly colours from yellow through red and brown. Umay is the female manifestation of Tengri, coming from earth which is Sary (yellow). When we are alive our body is from the earth and our soul from the sky. When we die, each returns to its place, and our circle is complete.” This is where the next series is born, an evolution from the abstract colour fields in Steppe - nothingness - through to the geometric forms of Tengri- being.
Of her coat and hat art couture collection, Gali says “I am taking fragments of the paintings and putting them on to the coats, so that they become the canvas. Painting is very formal and still, and I want to make art alive and live outside of the home. A coat can be outside, free to manifest its own story, so it is a perfect medium for that. Every client who buys my coat becomes a performer, taking part in an act of manifestation”.
When Hamilton first saw Gali’s art couture creations and paintings, she was struck by their resonance with 20th century artists influenced by Theosophy like Hilma af Klint, Agnes Pelton and Wassiliy Kandinsky. They echoed her own spiritual enquiry and research into colour psychology, during her lifelong project to faithfully document the colours found in one location at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. “I began this journey as a study of light reflections and refractions on the sea, because weather conditions and the angle of light can dramatically alter the sea’s shades. My hope was to try and capture the many, endlessly mutable instances of shade, but it has evolved into an infinitely expanding archive. This work led me to consider the earliest observers of hue in nature from Aristotle and Pliny and then to Newton, followed by Goethe who looked at colour from a humanist standpoint. Then I started to think about other systems, and how we like to understand and make sense of the world through colour.”
Hamilton’s historical enquiries run parallel with Marchant’s mission statement, and her lectures include Colour, Sound and Speed and Kandinsky and the Spiritual, plus a further programme of events tailor-made for the show.
Curator Nico Kos Earle states, “In establishing a conversation between Hamilton, Gali and Cipriani, supported by Marchant, this show mirrors the collective spirit of lockdown, in which we were all asked to turn inwards at the same time. Alone but together, the connections we made sing all the brighter as we re-enter society. Like complementary shades, we might find ourselves resonating with those who have experienced things similarly, or find a way to process our experience through artworks that give voice to what we felt. Light Works celebrates the inclusive power of colour, through pieces that honour the ‘unlimited domain of truth’ which can be found and felt through art”.
It is a show that brings us out into the light.