Gravity – Shannon Williamson
This exhibition features two correlated bodies of work. The HD20782b winter triptych and the Gravity works – following on from one another. Both display Williamson’s delicate use of texture, line and repeated forms to create immense depth. These are absorbing works full of energy that speak to their subject matters.
The HD20782b winter work takes its name from a recently discovered planet. This planet experiences some of the highest temperature shifts recorded due to its unusual orbit. Taking inspiration from this distant place, Williamson layers nebulous surfaces with lines that evoke the visual language of scientific diagrams and maps – charting the unknown.
I see humans as armed with graphs and machines but ultimately dwarfed by a universe which pushes against the boundaries of our knowledge. The concept of the greater unknown is sublime and I’m thrilled by the promise and terror that comes from imagining it. The work borrows loosely from the visual languages of astronomy, geology, mathematics and cartography to explore scientific and mythical theories on how human activities influence, and are influenced by the interplay of environmental elements.
The smaller Gravity works display a return to exploring more fragile and earthly forms. From the expansive space series these works are more intimate and light.
In Gravity I’m falling home, pulled back with a new set of bones, finding my way back to the body over new roads. Sitting somewhere between the biological and astronomical these works are spaces I’ve created to be at peace with uncertainty and unfinished thoughts. Spaces I’ve made to let myself stop, be quiet and behold the awesomeness and terror of gravity in all its layers. These works are refuges both for and from gravity; for and from chaos. To realise that so much of reality is beyond my control and to let the relief and terror of this wash over me.
These works accomplish harmony and balance. The works feel restrained as if some underlying volatility is creeping through, fizzing at the ends of lines and into speckled marks. What Williamson is able to so keenly illustrate in this exhibition is the ambiguous space
between the physical world and our understanding of it.