Haberdashery and Julian Abrams: Frequency at Serena Morton
The Serena Morton Gallery is tucked away unobtrusively in Ladbroke Grove. It looks a little out of place, as if it’s a few years ahead of the gentrification process that the area is still experiencing. However, it is worth making the walk from the station for this exhibition of light sculptures. The curator’s choices are extremely unusual.
“Together, design studio Haberdashery and photographer Julian Abrams explore the infinite potential of light. Their collaborative work dips into a kaleidoscopic world as highly reflective stainless steel rods, ball bearings, and controllable LED lighting are manipulated by simple geometry – isolating light and manipulating everything else.” Abrams’ photographs of the sculptures are as impressive as the pieces themselves; the two forms complement each other beautifully.
ABC Frequency and Musica are two large wall-mounted domes that house exciting light shows, set to deceive and transfix the viewer. An effect that appears to be a great number of tiny lights flashing in succession is actually created by lights being reflected from a pattern of metal balls. It’s a struggle to tear the gaze away.
These light sculptures insist on being experienced. Vortex appears to be spinning; the shape of the piece gives the impression of movement. Once the light show begins, it becomes clear that this is all an illusion.
The futuristic holographic colours feel bizarrely dated. These are colours that can be related to visions of the future created in the past, such as Lost In Space or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Further inspection uncovers something far more sophisticated. It’s interesting to consider the environments in which these pieces will eventually be homed.
Abrams’ photos take the same subject matter, but the result is remarkably dissimilar, feeling more modern than the sculptures themselves. Musica Universalis is reminiscent of the neon jellyfish that one would expect to find in the deepest oceans. Though these images are static, they appear to swim and pulsate before the eyes.
These otherworldly creations are well worth making the trip to Serena Morton. There are other light-based exhibitions in London at the moment, but this one is of a far higher standard than most. Whether the pieces end up in a club, an advertising agency or a home, they will be a talking point for years to come.
Haberdashery and Julian Abrams: Frequency is at Serena Morton Gallery from 20th February until 21st March 2015, for further information visit here.