UNTAMED GARDENS - ESSAY

 

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UNTAMED GARDENS, VIVIENNE KELLY & RENATA BUZIAK

Delight runs wild through this fertile garden. The artists share a deep affinity for the natural world through their sensual organic imagery. Rendering the familiar strange in order to draw us closer into intimate collusion, Vivienne Kelly and Renata Buziak present a delicate fusion of art and science. The works in Untamed Gardens are expressive of the biological and botanical connections to light via processes of photosynthesis and, through the artists’ tender intervention, via photography. Photo means light, and the cyclical natural processes of photosynthesis, growth, decomposition, decay and regeneration provide the focus for their fertile imagery.

Renata Buziak’s unique ‘Biochrome’ technique explores the processes of organic decomposition on photographic materials, resulting in naturally-occurring abstract compositions of bright pigmentation, and complex and detailed surfaces. Although the process is deliciously open to chance albeit the hand of Nature, there is a strong degree of control and agency at work here. The chemical and biological reactions that take place during the process of decay are fundamental to Buziak’s image making process. Her macro and micro landscapes are fecund and untamed in their expression of arrested growth – the moment of regeneration reveals itself forcefully within the process of decay captured here and the viewer is thrust into the centre of its metamorphic power.

Vivienne Kelly draws sensitively on the natural world using the hidden wealth of the ocean floor to create hybrid terrestrial/oceanic landscapes, which border on the celestial. Radiant golden light illuminates her beautifully constructed worlds, casting fertile shadows across the imagined landscapes. For Kelly, light becomes a tool that is constructive and symbolic. Suggestive of ancient life systems, her compositions are grounded in scientific observation and botanical research, re-imagined and reinvented as complex luminous habitats. Light powers life; from the ocean’s floor and its bioluminescent organisms - to the dance of microbes performing photosynthesis - and in this relationship between life and light, Kelly’s exquisite worlds pulse and shimmer.

By Dr Judy Anderson

From Independent Press