Numinosity

Artists

Belle Bassin

Wanda Gillespie

Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples

Belinda Winkler

Numinosity

Opening: 5.30pm 17 September 2021

Exhibition dates: 18 September – 24 October 2021

Contemporary Art Tasmania

One of art’s functions is to open viewers to an experience of not-knowing, a moment that allows space for insight and for wondering. The works in Numinosity look beyond the limitations of everyday rational activity, touching on ideas of spiritualism, meditative and hypnogogic states, but exist outside any particular religious tradition. Much like the process of artists opening themselves to possibility, Numinosity is an opening, bringing together the work of contemporary artists who interrogate the life, soul and energy of their artistic material in distinct ways.

The word ‘numinosity’, derived from the Latin numen, ‘supernatural’, means the ‘spiritually elevated’ or ‘sublime’. Like the similar word luminosity, there is reference to the emanation of subtle, transcendent energy that can awaken a sense of the mysterious and it is around this latter quality that the works in this exhibition are gathered.

Belle Bassin’s works seem to be drawn from the subconscious. Her suggestive patterns appear to have been reached and teased from within the dream-to-waking state. The work flutters between colours and shapes with an internal logic that can simultaneously be both felt and yet seem beyond sense. The works rely on the relationships between these formal elements, creating a dialogue of ‘likeness’ and ‘liveness’ between her objects, that are suggestive of an esoteric language.

Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples (The Telepathy Project) also try to accurately see and hear their dreams. Kent and Peoples’ haven been collaborating for over ten years in The Telepathy Project, and their work in this exhibition titled ‘20 days of Dream Telepathy’ is the result of a twenty day performance that took place as the artists shared an apartment together in Spain as part of an Australia Council for the Arts Residency. Each night they would put something in an envelope under each other’s pillow and would dream on it all night, in the morning recounting their dreams to each other. These dreams were eventually worked into this series of collaborative oil paintings.

‘I believe in the power of an object’ writes artist Wanda Gillespie. She is drawn to animism in a theoretical sense; inanimate objects possess a soul. Gillespie approaches her artmaking by attempting to reveal the energy, both luminous and numinous, within the material (at hand) through transfiguration. In Gillespie’s Higher Thought Forms, the abacus works channel other and different dimensions as though ‘liberated’ from a numeric function. Imbued with sacred geometry, they are suggestive of abstract mathematical reasoning and open systems theories. Through these works Gillespie has proposed a tool for calculating access to realms beyond our consciousness.

For many years Belinda Winkler has been committed to refining curved vessels that evince a tension between suspended motion and stillness. Her tilted forms are charged with an incompatible air of both tactility and fragility. She also believes there is a ‘life within form’ and its energy is expressed through curvature and projected tension. With Brink #3 and Brink #4, this simple animation can seem both a sensate and emotional experience. Here, Winkler playfully imagines a live connection between object and viewer to analyse the animist life-energy her forms may evoke through their material means.

 

Image: Belle Basin, Form 10,2, 2019 – 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

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