Lydia Wegner’s third solo exhibition at ARC ONE Gallery, Shifting Light, articulates a curiosity of illusion and light, shadow and form, and the unexpected dissolve of reality. An opening reception will be held on Thursday 14 March, 6-8pm.
Featuring a suite of twelve new works, Shifting Light continues Lydia Wegner’s ongoing exploration of staged photography and visual abstraction. Conjured from analogue processes that manipulate form, colour, and shape, these works stretch our perception to the limit as fixed space and familiar objects are transformed into illusionary abstraction.
Wegner’s works emerge from the tabletop of her studio as the artist carefully layers and balances found objects, coloured and transparent papers, and other visual materials to form ephemeral assemblages. White lights and coloured lighting gels cast sharp lines, bold colour, soft haze, and shadow while mirrors reflect and refract causing a distortion of scale, perspective, and space. These precarious constructions and chance moments are then photographed by Wegner and resolved as inkjet prints. For Wegner, “There’s a kind of magic which happens when I use the camera. You get an image that you may not be able to see by the eye.”
In these works, the viewer is confronted by a flattening of space, a colliding of weightless geometric forms, blocks of vibrant colour, shadows, sheens, and textures born from their material construction but now released from it. Recalling the history of formalism, particularly the Bauhaus geometry of László Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946), and the conceptual photography of Barbara Kaston (b. 1936), these sculptural studies dissolve reality into pure abstraction.
Lydia Wegner graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours, from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Swing, ARC ONE Gallery, 2017; Silver Shadow, Bus Projects, 2016; Assemble Colour, ARC ONE Gallery, 2014; and Folded Colour, Centre for Contemporary Photography, 2013. Group exhibitions include: Robin Boyd, a Portrait of an Australian House, Monash Gallery of Art, 2019 (forthcoming); Still Life Pt. II, Verge Gallery, 2019; Perceptual Abstraction, The Honeymoon Suite, 2017; In the White Square, ARC ONE Gallery, 2016; Is/Is Not, Westspace, 2016; Genteel Notions, LON Gallery, 2016; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, 2013- 14; Das Boot, Next Wave, 2014; Fundraiser Exhibition, Centre of Contemporary Photography, 2013; Low Relief, Seventh Gallery, 2012; FotoFreo (Fremantle Festival of Photography), FutureGen12, Fremantle, 2012; and Art of the Ordinary, ARC ONE Gallery, 2011. She was a Finalist in the 2016 & 2015 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award, and was a Finalist in the 2015 churchie national emerging art prize. In 2010, she was a Finalist in the Wallara Travelling Scholarship Prize, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, and in 2013 she was a Finalist in the Keith and Elizabeth Murdoch Scholarship Prize. Wegner was also awarded a Hill End Artist Residency through Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in 2013. Her work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, and PwC Collection.