Nike Savvas,  Living on a Promise (A1),  carbon fibre, acrylic paint, aluminium, 52 x 40.5 x 40.5 cm. Photo: Zan Wimberley

Nike Savvas, Living on a Promise (A1), carbon fibre, acrylic paint, aluminium, 52 x 40.5 x 40.5 cm. Photo: Zan Wimberley

Leading contemporary artist Nike Savvas returns to ARC ONE Gallery this October with her latest exhibition, Living on a Promise. An opening reception will be held on Thursday 26 October, 6-8pm.

Highly-recognised both in Australia and internationally for her immersive, colourful and optically charged installations, in Living on a Promise, Savvas presents a new body of work that optically activate space within striated lines of vertical colour. Small in scale, her works project large visual auras, combining high-vibrancy layered screens with oscillating colours and floating surfaces. The effect is at once mesmerising and disorienting; a pulsating mix of hue and space that tests and delights the senses.

Developed from numerous sources, including her acclaimed Liberty and Anarchy installation at Leeds Art Gallery (UK, 2012), these works offer diverse points of access, from mathematical equations and systems of logic, to perception based optics, colour and ephemerality.

Living on a Promise follows a research trip to the archives of MOMA, New York, where Savvas undertook an in-depth examination of the critically celebrated Responsive Eye exhibition of 1965. Contributing to an existing art historical discourse pertaining to optical phenomena and colour frequencies, this exhibition examines how different optical algorithms produce different outcomes – and occasionally even false colours. In these works, Savvas “seeks to dismantle conventional boundaries, overstep thresholds, and … to open into a new world of artificial patterns, optical ghosting, fugitive colours and temporal aliasing”.

Since training as a painter in the late 1980s, Savvas has consistently probed the traditional conventions of painting as a medium, such as two-dimensional space, surface and materiality. In this exhibition she explores painting’s potential anew, producing a ‘synthesised’ space in which the viewer experiences a disorientating shift in their perceptual register – a juncture between fact and subjective reception.

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