Saturday 14th - Monday 23rd October 2017
I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame.
~ Mary Oliver, Power and Time,’ Blue Pastures, 1997 ~
Several strands of inspiration form the “Stained by the Light” collection: the notion of metamorphosis, initiation, and the regenerative power of nature; antique and emblematic symbolism; sacred words and symbolic languages, heavily influenced by the subversive power of street art.
In a time of uncertainty, confusion, and change with invisible ends, these compositions reflect the ambivalence of adapting to such times and the possibility of both success and failure embedded within it. The darkness of many of the images is the subterranean place of gestation; the alchemical nigredo; the chaos before order of one kind or another emerges. This is how the darkness is irrevocably stained by the light, and these images are the result.
Each painting is a narrative inviting the viewer into a dialogue, so that we may share an exploration of the timeless, but also current themes in the paintings. The human form is the base for most of the compositions, and its position, posture, or action reflects the essence of the transformation that is at hand or under way. The images – or lettering -layered on top, is often a clear key to the meanings locked within. A contrasting motif, either in the form of ancient lettering (accurately rendered words and phrases in their original tongue) or in the shape of an animal or floral design, breaks through the darkness and “stains” it with colour and light, reflecting the message that nature, spirit, and the narratives of collective memory can transform the gloom into beauty with human creativity as a driving force.
Exhibited in Corfu, Greece, during May/June 2017, this expanded version of “Stained by the Light” is Sasha’s 11th solo exhibition.
From Sasha’s studio: Making the “Stained by the Light” collection and explaining the thinking and symbolism behind the paintings.
Stained by the Light 2017 is Sasha Chaitow’s new solo exhibition of neosymbolist art, accompanied by music written for the paintings, and a one-day symposium of talks by scholars and artists “Art = Praxis”.
Central to the exhibition and symposium concept is the idea that works of art can become dynamic, living entities, capable of transforming the viewer, who is the final link in the creative circuit. This idea draws on an ancient tradition, as well as the modern slow art movement. The art has been deliberately designed as an experiential narrative journey that is only completed when the visitor engages mindfully with the art. This is a two-way transformational process; the art only acquires meaning in the presence of a spectator, while by engaging with the symbolic narratives and unlocking meaning within them, a transformation occurs within the viewer.
This process is the meaning of “praxis”, and the symposium presentations are dedicated to exploring the transformational power of the creative process, from experiential, scholarly, historical and philosophical perspectives.