One of the fundamental aspects of the concept of beauty, which is a significant contributory element of the spiritual pleasure evinced by Art, is the visual symbolism embraced by pleasing patterns such as symmetry. Symmetry, and perhaps, in particular, bilateral symmetry, is a basic property of the Natural World. It is inherent in the balance of form and function and is evident in the remarkable symmetrical features of morphology and of metabolism. We readily recognise the beauty of symmetrical properties of nature even at the molecular level, such as the double helical structure of DNA, and perhaps the entire Universe represents a grand symmetry of which we are a part.
The set of images of trees presented embodies this notion insofar as trees are fundamentally symmetrical structures; but, because the images are confined to two dimensions, they are essentially silhouettes and represent the patterns observed mainly viewed against an evening sky in the Norfolk countryside. Most of the images were obtained during the late afternoon in winter, when the trees are predominantly absorbing rather than emitting oxygen, and perhaps best represents trees in their resting state of carbon capture. The colour filtration employed draws attention to certain aspects of the arboreal form, and the levels of the illumination suggest the prevailing spiritual ambience of nature.
Continuing the theme explored in the recent Papillon series, Riley has examined thermal images of domestic cats. Two analytical versions of feline thermographs are presented, which have been processed to show the spectrum of heat emission, which is greatest from surfaces overlying regions of muscle activity and is particularly emphasised around the eyes and ears. These thermographs, perhaps in a more derivative and complex manner, also embrace the principles of symmetry outlined above.
The phrase “Symbiotic Dissonance” is an oxymoron in itself, but this almost perfectly represents the way in which we interact with nature. It is a relationship filled with contradictions, as we simultaneously covet and destroy our environment. This dysfunctional, yet nuanced relationship is represented by the clash of colours and forms in this art series. Desaturated portraits are juxtaposed against bold, playful shapes, yet both work together to create a complete image. This project also aims to highlight the tenacity of nature, growing and surviving despite its pervasive challenges. There is a depth in this interaction, as we also struggle to survive within the society in which we have forged. Although our relationship with nature is usually portrayed negatively, the artist’s work also represents some hope as we look forward.
Nature is an extensive theme, and finding originality is difficult. I decided to try linoleum printing again; I wanted to get my hands dirty and explore the purity of black and white. This technique allowed me to paint the light amongst the branches, the solitude of a man watching the only natural thing he has, and explore Mexican themes like Magueyes inspired by a line in a poem by Salvador Novo.
I also included in the exhibition an original painting of ink and acrylic on Awagami paper and a colourful still life of a lemon on a Digital print.
Jose Luis is a very prolific artist; being also a psychiatrist, he analyses from every angle producing wonderful works full of colour and movement of varied subjects and moods.
Entering the gallery you will find the portraits of our artists, click on a portrait to see the works.
We recommend viewing the gallery on a larger screen. To enter the full-screen display of the artwork, click the small magnifying glass on the top right of the image.