Belinda Fox: You need the light to cast a shadow

18 September - 5 October 2019
Exhibition Text

Fusing together profoundly personal and global concerns, Belinda Fox’s new series lays bare the paradoxes endemic to contemporary human experience. Working in painting, drawing, glass, sculpture, printmaking and collaboration, Fox examines the volatility of our era, excavating the iridescent beauty that flickers below the shadowy surface of conflict and despair. Currently based in The Hague, Fox presents us with a series in which beauty is a gateway into dense conceptual terrain patchworked with blackness and light. For her, the show is an ‘antidote’ to our polarised epoch; a bridge connecting us through a shared – albeit almost forgotten – humanity. 


Artistic collaboration has become, over many years, the artist’s anchor to finding meaning in a divided world. For Fox, the nuances and personal connections of collaboration counter the dehumanised political schism of our contemporary milieu. This kind of artmaking offers a kind of creative communion, an unspoken togetherness that surpasses language differences and cultural borders. It opens up a liminal space where beauty resides and concepts float freely. Working with highly skilled crafts people in the Netherlands – master glass blowers, a cabinet maker and wallpaper, textile and jewellery artists – Fox pays homage to the power of the human hand and the humble sharing of ideas, remedying the reign of digitisation and technology that is rapidly eclipsing genuine relationships. 


A series of cabinets created with furniture maker Wilfred Kalf in The Netherlands investigates the poetic valency of objects; the profound meaning that can be articulated through materiality. Resembling sculptural light boxes, the works play with shadow and light, tapping into childhood fears and fantasies where shadows would morph into things exhilarating and strange. To create these abstracted lamps, Fox collaborated with glass blower Gert Bullée from the National Glass Museum, Netherlands, engraving their crystalline skins with an anatomy of lines that evokes tectonic plates parting to reveal the burning light within.

Fox’s paintings, pairs the weight of woodcuts with the lightness of watercolour, a structural contrast that evinces her personal artistic trajectory from printmaking to painting whilst also conceptualising the conflicts at play in the political space. More abstracted than previous series, these paintings continue the artist’s meandering linework, which cartographically map her emotions as if searching the clay boards for stable ground, all the while wobbling between creation and collapse.


This new collection forms an honest reflection on creativity and morality, carving open a confronting space where the personal courts the political; where a terrible beauty emerges quietly from the darkness.

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