Covering Ground at Dark Horse Experiment

Words by Julia Howland

Photos by Andy Donohoe

Covering Grounds proved to bring our modern ideas of artistic creation back to a level of simplistic, yet meaningful, realism. No gesture of pretension, no signs of elaborate conformity. The art works all shared effortless symbols of nature and our perpetual order.

Upon walking into the inconspicuously large space at Dark Horse Experiment you are greeted with Ruth Trotter and her abstract expressionism on a stretched linen canvas. The linen itself created an earthy texture and yet was transposed into something vivid and spontaneous, with abrupt smears of thick acrylic, then balancing the piece with subtle strokes of ink.

Moving onto Katherine Boland’s large pieces of burnt and marked timber, where we see the transformation into almost animalistic patterns panning across the largest portion of the gallery. Boland creates symmetry with her use of negative space and the subtle, yet influential, abused wood panels. Terry Brooks uses similiar textures, while generating the look and feel of wood through the use of synthetic materials. Much like her neighbor to the left, Barbara Kerwin, whose charcoal and acrylic concept reminded the viewer of something of the Renaissance, with a geometric twist.

And yet that look of geometry is what tied together the evolution of Marion Lane’s work. With bright colours and no immediate feel of nature, Lane manages to use defined shapes and position to incur ideas of molecular cultivation. Nature, on a cellular level.

Dawn Csutroros’ pieces of black coal pulled the exhibition back to its visceral feel, as it yielded notions of black tar and dirt with a mysterious pull towards the celestial. And even still, she finishes with the only live performance, the Burning Chandelier installation. For what better way to conclude the forces of nature than with the vitality of fire.

Dark Horse Experiment