Blinded by the Lights: Kerry Gillett

This sophisticated and dynamic art exhibition by Benjamin Werner, combines oil on canvas, LEDs, domed ceramics and 1000+ laser cut acrylics to create a 21st century sense of the sublime. The artist has spent the last three years creating the exhibition that has evolved from previous bodies of work to focus on life experience and photography. The exhibition’s title is borrowed from ‘The Streets’ 2004 single, which references not only drugs, alcohol and life, but the weird, edgy feeling that can haunt dark spaces both physical and metaphysical on a dazzling night. This exhibition is site specific. The artist created his exhibition knowing that he had total control over the ‘Shopfront’ space. Werner considered every element of the exhibition in terms of how it would be seen, including the voyeuristic windows that the ‘Shopfront’ space houses.

The dark walls of the installation combined with intermittent lighting highlight the artist’s desire to represent his vision of subtractive and additive colour in painting, LED (light art), ceramics and installation. He depicts the poetic rhythm of a city at dawn or dusk, by spheres of colour that skip and play across the canvas, pulse suggestively through an LED, or allow light to pass through dazzling dancing disks to emphasize a single red ceramic globe.  His paintings of varying size, display Werner’s trademark obsession with blurred, abstract, and spiritual spaces. They allow the viewer to see as much or as little as they want to and allow the viewer to create a narrative, as do the LEDs with their lively expressiveness. Last but not least, the museum quality installation of laser cut colourful disks, gives the exhibition an architectural link between the spaces, to ensure one body of thought provoking work where the black walls create the darkness necessary.

Benjamin Werner is a New Farm based contemporary artist who has lived and painted in the historic Avalon building on Brunswick Street since 2004.  Since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) QCA, he has tutored in, fine art, drawing, painting and graphic design. He is also an art collection and exhibition technician, who has worked both nationally and internationally. His artworks are held in corporate, public and private collections around the world.

His solo exhibition, “Blinded by the lights” is on show at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts until 31st of November 2014.