Accompanying gallery text by Elizabeth Neilson available in the gallery during the exhibition
Cell Project Space presents Fata Morgana a solo project by Irish, London based, artist Laura Buckley. For Fata Morgana, Buckley has initiated an ambitious single screen installation.
The title Fata Morgana refers to a highly complex superior mirage where inverted and erect images are stacked one on top of another causing an object on the horizon to be distorted beyond recognition. The name also refers to Morgan le Fay, mythical figure from the Arthurian legends at once a villain, seductress, witch, healer or goddess, her unquestionable power is dictated by her ability to shape-shift throughout the myths and legends in which she appears.
This personification of a natural phenomenon and anthropomorpic sensibility in humanity gently riffs through Buckley’s work. For the past four years Buckley has been producing multifaceted installations incorporating components ranging from motorised plywood structures, Perspex sculptures, sound and projected moving image. Her idiosyncratic use of light both within her installations and film is exacerbated by the sleek surfaces she deploys, which reflect, and reftract projection onto the viewer, or are reflected back and become the focus and subject matter of the films themselves.
For Fata Morgana both the film and sculpture are static. Buckley has constructed a kaleidoscopic chamber built with vast human-scale mirrors to allow the fast paced edit of the film and sculpture's surface interact with the body and perception of the viewer; the body implicated within the chamber's mirrored surface, therefore absorbing the viewer into the film.
Buckley's painterly experimentations with digital image are produced using hacked techniques with a flat bed scanner. Her recent investigations record objects in motion; titled; Moving Image Series These works are produced by moving readymades and assembled sculptures over the bed of the scanning machine, allowing the mobile lens of the scanner to recapture their foreshortened surfaces and distorted forms. For Fata Morgana, Buckley has deployed the most basic form of animation by filming a still image and then scrolling it in front of the camera lens. In much the same way the objects themselves are moved directly in front of the lens of a scanner, thereby transferring objects to sculpture, then digital image to moving image, to create a physical and visual presence using light as a medium as opposed to paint.
Often shooting her digital footage on a mobile phone or handheld camera Buckley’s projected digital films conjure up memories of early modernist experiments of László Moholy-Nagy or Marcel Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs. Focusing on simple everyday encounters with the world, which when absorbed by an entire installation become elements of a much larger composition or abstract narrative. By dissolving the resolution between artwork and the body’s encounter with it Buckley allows the viewer to become entirely subsumed by image, causing hypnotic and trance-like effects.
'Fata Morgana' follows recent solo projects 'The Mean Reds', at Supplement Gallery, London July 2011 and 'Waterlillies' at Mothers Tankstation, Dublin, 2010. Buckley was shortlisted for the first 'Converse/Dazed Emerging Artist Prize' in 2010 and her work has been included in group exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery London, 'Et De Lumiere' (with Jacob Mattner) at 401 Contemporary, Berlin 2010, 'Stage Fright' (with Haroon Mirza and Dave McLean) at Rokeby, London, 2009 and 'Material Presence' at the Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2008. Buckley graduated with an MA from Chelsea College of Art in 2007 and lives and works in East London.