Christina Mackie at Tate Britain
For seven years, Sotheby’s has supported and sponsored contemporary British artists through the Tate Britain Commission, exhibited in the Duveen Sculpture Galleries. This year sees a new, three-part installation entitled The Filters, by multimedia artist Christina Mackie.
Originally trained as a painter, much of Mackie’s work focuses on colour, perception, philosophy and scientific knowledge. The Filters continues to develop these ideas, which have been touched upon in other recent projects. Mackie takes a deeper look at the relationship between natural and unnatural materials, which this installation most interestingly allows us to observe and question.
As we walk into the neo-classical galleries, we see nine silk nets, dyed in various colours and hanging 12 metres from rings suspended below the high barrel-vaulted ceiling. Distinct from the neutral tones of the walls, the motionless drips of colour flood the gallery; the viewer is able to walk through, absorbing the interaction of the nets with the natural light from above. The skylight illuminates the top hoops, while the rest of the mesh plunges down into puddles of reflective darkness collected in large round pans on the ground. These contain shallow pools of dye residue that will, over time, become crystallised. The diffusion of colour and the crystallisation relate broadly to the experience of the world around us, and of life.
The second part of the installation features a peculiar sculpture that looks like it might be used for some sort of scientific experiment. Within two identical builder-yellow steel structures, six untainted white tubes stretch down from top to bottom into small canisters. The third and final part of the installation is brought to us on a circular wooden plinth. When we look into the dip in the top, we see huge, colourful chunks of cullet on a bed of sand, differing in shape and encircled by a halo of light. Disappointingly, the latter components of this three-part installation do not utilise the open space of the gallery quite as well as the first. Both are pushed to the sides and hidden away behind pillars, making them easy to miss.
Nevertheless, the Duveen Galleries is the perfect space for an exploration of colour and light on this scale, and the main part of the installation is inviting, thought-provoking and captures the attention of all visitors, fans and skeptics alike.
Photos: Erol Bisen
Christina Mackie is at Tate Britain until 18th October 2015, for further information visit here.