Fri 13 Oct 2023 to Fri 10 Nov 2023
Thu-Sat noon-6pm & by appointment
Artist: Mia Vallance
ZÉRUÌ presents ‘Into Black Light’, the first UK solo exhibition for the London based artist Mia Vallance.
Holding silences pregnant with an unyielding force of motion, the works of Mia Vallance problematise the ‘emptiness’ in spaces we move through, and occupy. Her paintings hum with an acid light that builds to break through overlaying washes of translucent pigment, and radiate with the distinct, and visceral way she takes in the world. Decisive gestures of the body strike the canvas in sacramental offering, imbuing nebulous fumes with a stirring potential energy that threatens to crash forth. Identifiable features - if they are there - emerge from this dense atmosphere to obscure any further articulation of the space they inhabit. However, they do not float in the composition of negative space. There is a palpable sense of setting. We are left without orientation, in a dizzying terrain of raucous colour, where objects seem positioned only to be decomposed and eroded - there more to offer context, scale and visibility to eviscerating winds, or the sulphurous humidity of climate. Though more often than not we are given no foothold at all – “internal distance expanded and collapsed” – to float lost in a boundless volume of troubling weather. In this, her work represents a more terrestrial sense of Landscape painting, where stains contaminate and diffuse any notional boundaries between ourselves and the rest of nature.
Within the show, her most recent works hold an unresolvable proximity. The almost suffocating immediacy of her dense atmospheres, now join glimpses of exposed private moments and memories, as pungency of colour dissipates into sun bleached hues that, at times, completely fold into an unknowable depth of black. We are stifled by the nearness of things, yet so much is obscured, cut out, or left eternally out of reach. Head spliced from body, by the shot of the canvas, the furious movement of a hand blurs the explicit content of ‘Yellow room’ presenting a lone man mid-wank. And, divorced from the scene on a separate painting, titled ‘Body spill’, again the close up view, holds the viewer’s face between the legs of a naked figure. Her dilute form recedes into a background of damp shades as, back arched out of frame, she is left similarly faceless and detached from identity. The body is offered in violent prostration as polluting stains denature her rapture — a faded memory left to go stale. Elsewhere, stillness and motion compete to confuse distance and the orientation of perspective. An onset of staggered moments cut out structures with rapid marks while in other places, wide horizontal motions stretch scenes out into endlessness. Our sense of duration is dislocated from the familiar human-centred position we are used to, and offers the potential availability of ‘other’ points of view. In the undulating dialogue between each painting of the show is the suggestion of ulterior lived experience and our own fallibility. Here the work gives us room to confront latent tendencies within Western thought - those that “confuse existence with the domain of what is accessible via the senses and projects the human need for meaning onto the vastness of the galaxies.”
Text by Francesca Hussey