Andrea Hamilton and Aigana Gali
with Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery and Stories of Art
21 – 29 May 2021
68 Kinnerton Street, SW1
From 20 May works from the show, plus the artists in conversation with
curator Nico Kos Earle, can be viewed online:
AH Studio presents 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 Elisabetta Cipriani Gallery and supported by Dina Kemal Marchant, founder of Stories of Art.
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, textiles, 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 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 Terre. 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.
For Dina Kemal Marchant, 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 opens a channel to something wider, outside of themselves, and to how colour and space touches on the spiritual and esoteric.
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. By incorporating biomorphic and geometric shapes into the colour fields manifest in Steppe, Gali is mirroring her own evolution; coming into an awareness of self while retaining a sense of place in the world.
When Hamilton first saw Gali’s 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.
The exhibition will be supported by Dina Kemal Marchant, founder of Stories of Art with lectures on Colour, Sacred Geometry, Vision and Spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s World and Kandinsky and the Spiritual, programme of events tailor-made for the show are:
11am, Friday, May 21
“Colour and the Spiritual; Kandinsky and his Followers”
Presented by Dr Jacqueline Cockburn, a lecturer at Stories of Art, V&A Courses, Christie’s Education and Westminster School.
11am, Wednesday, May 26
“Opening the Channel: Colour and Sacred Geometry as a Conduit to the Spiritual in Art”
Presented by Nico Kos Earle, a writer and an art curator and Dina Kemal Marchant, a founder of Stories of Art.
11am, Friday, May 28
“Vision and Spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s World”
Presented by Dr Kathy Mclauchlan, a lecturer at V&A Courses, Open University and Birbeck College.
Notes to the editors:
21-29 May 2021
Open Studio Visits: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm – Saturday 11:00 am- 5pm – booking is essential
68 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8ER
T: 0207 245 6664
From 20 May online at: www.elisabettacipriani.com/blog/lightworks
For hi res images, interviews and more information contact:
T: +44(0) 207 287 5675
Andrea Jarvis Hamilton is a multi award-winning UK-based conceptual artist and photographer best known for her extensive images of the ocean, natural phenomena and the Kelvin scale. Her work encompasses numerous photographic genres including portraiture, still life, long exposure and landscape. Her systematic collection of subjects within a strict conceptual framework (Chroma, Tidal Resonance and Luminous Icescapes) over extended time periods has resulted in comprehensive archives. These are retrospectively organised according to common characteristics (movement, colour, light) into series which highlight specific themes: the nature of time and memory, our relationship with the environment, colour theory, being, and the representation of truth. Hamilton’swork is held in numerous collections, including The Vault 100 at The Ned, and has published numerous books, including London Everyday for the Mayor of London. Her most recent accolade was Gold at the Tokyo International Foto Awards 2020.
Aigana Gali is a multidisciplinary artist, deeply informed by her Central Asian roots, and whose work investigates opposing themes: the physical and spiritual, reality and imagination, human constructions and nature, being and nothingness. Since her first solo exhibition at Kazakhstan’s preeminent contemporary art gallery, The Almaty Art Gallery, in 2014 Gali has been recognised as one of the brightest young talents of Kazakh art,and has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions. Her works are held in both private and public collections in Russia, Europe and Kazakhstan. Aigana is also a ballet dancer who graduated from Profi-Studio in Almaty, and was featured in three main roles in Kazakh films. She has also worked on several theatre projects as artistic director.
www.aiganagali.com https://www.instagram.com/aiganagali/ www.manifestations-couture.com https://www.instagram.com/manifestations/
Elisabetta Cipriani invites world-leading contemporary artists to create aesthetically innovative and socially relevant jewellery projects. Since the opening of her namesake gallery in 2009, Elisabetta’s pioneering vision and extraordinary roster of talents has redefined the boundaries between jewellery and fine art, capturing the imaginations of artists and collectors across the globe.
Dina Kemal Marchant, founder of Stories of Art, provides lectures on baroque and contemporary artists, highlighting the quirky, human narrative beyond the obvious. Elegantly arranged through visual storytelling, they highlight an artist’s vision, history and secrets, including Agness Pelton, Hilma Af Klint, Judy Chicago and Georgia O’Keefe. Marchant studied Art History at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Christie’s Education and The V&A.