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* Dion Horstmans: Full Circle *
Dion Horstmans: Full Circle Flinders Lane Gallery 16th June 2020 - 11th July 2020 Dion Horstmans steel assemblages possess a rhythm attuned to the natural world. Their geometric forms are dictated by the inherent properties of the mineral alloy of steel, and they choreograph the energies of the maker and the world around him into a coherent whole. After 25 years of practice, Full Circle sees the artist abandon colour to focus on a reversal of his usual process, starting from fluid forms and adding angles. This new pivot point, a chorus of arches and semi-circles folding out and in on themselves, sets up a seemingly irrational continuation of spaces. The charged and expressive grace of the curved contours complicates the sense of planes, creating moments in which you lose track of where you are and cannot anticipate where you are going. These internal differences explain the various moments of tension and ultimate release. Fluid arcs create a sense of restless movement contained by superimposed asymmetric squares, the shapes slip and bend into one another to become complementary rather than opposite. The artist's abstract vocabulary creates exquisite drama from the collision and combinations of such configurations. In each shape, Horstmans distils his surroundings, capturing everything from a morning cloud formation to the bend of light across a building. A restrained colour palette prioritises the dynamism of form and, despite the explosive process of welding that has created them, the intricate steel drawings float in complete synchronicity with the rhetoric of the architecture that surrounds them. It is the artist's technical agility that allows room for impulse in the creation of each work, destabilizing precise formal techniques with elements of chance while maintaining control. Though the preparatory drawings included in the suite of works afford us an insight into the artistic process, the sketches ideate rather than define how the artist moulds negative space. With an instinct for sculptural power and presence, Horstmans harnesses his own energetic force to create a rhythmic interplay between solid materials and open void. Working in collaboration with the sun, Horstmans invites the rise and fall of light to expand each work with shadows that stretch, contract and reveal the work anew with each hour. With every encounter incidental paths and alternative routes emerge over time, creating a non-linear narrative from fluid lines through space. A sacred geometry is tempered by physical energy and the sparks of industrial processes and the resulting series presents itself as a sequence of elaborately mapped sundials that embody the sensory experience of their maker. In his distillation of experience, rather than a rationalisation of it, the artist develops a new way of articulating reality that is in dialogue with the natural forces responsible for it. The scale of each work is thus infinite, at the whim of the cosmological constant of our orbit of the sun, an objective measure onto subjective space. So too, must the viewer circumnavigate each work, to see each one from every angle and let the forms pulse with the passing of time.
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