The exhibition of Christina Mackie’s work at Herald St propels us into a new world of poetry. Aesthetically, the colours are soft and the different use of materials makes our curiosity rise every time we turn our heads from one piece to another. We end up feeling imprinted by a marvellous moment.
In the midst of urbanism and a cold city, the work of Mackie is a fresh splash of water thrown on our face during a hot summer’s day. This unprecedented arrival at the gallery makes ourselves attentive to the obvious meanings and the hidden messages; perhaps we can walk out with an interpretation of our own. The artist experiments with different kinds of means. Sculptures, paintings, objects, ceramics and a video projection accompany the imaginary wave which transports us from one artwork to the other and puts rhythm to the exhibition’s flow.
How do materials interact one next to another? And how do colours signal automatic thinking? Where do we, as human beings stand amid nature and the numerous representations of materials? Can we still forge an individual opinion without being influenced by dogmas? All these questions oversee the works of Mackie, laying simply on their pedestals. It is a bit confusing to decipher the codes in each object, and perhaps there is no need to search for an individualized explanation, as the entire exhibition contributes to the main idea.
The video in the small dark room directs the dialogue to a clearer topic. The exact same objects placed in different dimensions don’t have the same effects on our minds. This is partly due to the way they move in space. 3D or 2D matters, and if we can make the comparison between both, there are probably some unknown other levels which would make the objects appear even more interesting than they do now.
The paintings hung on the walls are a little more abstract to follow. Irresistible in their making and outcome, they participate in the fluidity of the exhibition and transport us into a peaceful underworld where everything has its own place, and everything makes sense. The geometric forms imply that we are not alone, and make us reflect on how we spatially exist in regards to other human lives, including animals and nature. From the paintings, a pleasant feeling emerges. It all seems to simple and homogenous. Why do I have the sentiment that it should be this way, and that it is not in real life? Mackie has taken the essence of human interaction on Earth and has summarized it in shapes and colours. Amid the chaos and confusion of our current lives, we are allowed to dream of optimism and eternal harmony. At the end of the wave conducted by Mackie herself, I land on a safe and calm territory. Amongst the protestations and the rebellious exhibitions I visit weekly, it is refreshing to exit a gallery feeling positive and nourished by hopeful thoughts.
Drift Dust : Christina Mackie at Herald St (12 April – 21 May 2017)