Recently, artFix was honoured to showcase Healing, a solo exhibition by visual artist Tabita Cargnel featuring both her past and current works. The exhibition’s launch was fantastic. Visitors roamed the gallery, wine glass in hand, peering and pondering on the pieces. Tabita too, ambled along the white walls gazing into her works, but also revelling in the buzzing atmosphere.
Tabita’s artistry encompasses painting, photography, robotics and active installations, among many other fields. This exhibition features her paintings as well as her sculptural pieces. Tabita explains that installations talk to the viewer through more senses; ‘Two dimensional visual art can only be experiences through sight whereas installation art can be explored in a three dimensional way; the visual, acoustic and tactile. The more senses used in an experience of any given art, the quicker the learning process and the stronger the memory will stick in the users mind.’ This sculptural element is not only evident in her installations but also in her two-dimensional works as she explains: ‘ I like the possibility to go sculptural, to have thicker paint that can built up easily.’ Her work has an obvious three-dimensional quality, configuring itself outside the page as well as within it. This embossed quality builds colour as well as texture on the surface of the works, creating different images and different depths.
Her recent works are comprised of abstract paintings, interactive installations and sketches exploring the emotions associated with healing and being. Her work bridges the gap between art and technology to create sincere and evocative pieces. Walking through the gallery you can really tell that her work demonstrates the emotive, the delicate – a display of the internal, personal nuances of feeling and sentiment. When talking to Tabita she explains: ‘When I paint, I visualise my emotions. Good ones, bad ones. Undefinable ones? Sometimes I don’t even know what I feel, the process is very intuitive. When there are unsolved tensions, they can be solved through painting. For me, the paintings that result from strong unsolved emotions are usually my strongest works.’
Pieces like EMBRACE, SUMMER and THERE, regardless of context, exude a sense of comfort and warmth. The tones and impressions created by acrylic induce a sense of familiarity and serenity. EMBRACE, (Acrylic on foamboard, 23 x 33 inches) in particular, establishes a certain tenderness through its exploration of layers and warm colours. The darker brown imitates a vignette of photography and brightens the warm yellow that shines through in the centre. Evident throughout quite a few of her pieces is a certain presence of the solar illuminating the page. This is particularly evident in DIVE, SUMMER and WORLDS where in which a spherical warm colour strikes the page. Her painting DIVE, (Acrylic on canvas, 101x 82cm) comments on freedom. The piece is an intensely hued and captivating painting depicting a white bird in flight in the centre of a blue background, surrounded by a scarlet orange ring. Despite the vibrant backdrop illustrated, Tabita creates a deliberate focus on the bird in flight in this painting. The bold red outline along with the vignette effect created further navigate the audience to the middle of the painting. Through its focus on the white bird gliding, the painting evokes hope, opportunity and liberation. Tabita adds that ‘the red circle represents the sun, a fireball, a ball of passion.’ – this illuminating, solar component that is seen repeatedly throughout her work.
Additionally, there is a prevailing sense of contrast in her works. This is particularly significant in the piece THERE (Acrylic on paper, 21.69 x 16.54 inches) where the cool, blue tones juxtapose the warmer contours on the page. The artwork depicts a hug shared between two people at night time, drawn in a fiery orange-red. Layering over the red, are linear blue strokes, underlined with horizontal scratches to depict the rain. Tabita explains that the red shines through because it was applied earlier causing the paper to soak the red. Even when scratching off the blue the red still remains. Through its process, as well as its visuals, the work suggests the durability of love and affection depicted by the bold red on the page, even amongst the cold blue rain. The scratch in itself creates an absence of paint, resulting in thin white lines adding even more texture to this piece. Despite the scratching there is a certain softness and tenderness to this painting. The vertical blue strokes, varied in shade, create a sense of motion further asserting the endurance of kindness.
More than anything her work is unconditionally expressive. There is a clear sense of the linear created throughout her work. In many of her works Tabita has developed a discernible linear quality; this is apparent in pieces such as TO BE DANCED, WATERFALL, RELIEF RAIN, FLOATING, THERE, AWAK, HEALING, RAINY DAY, MINT LOOKS, EMBRACE, REFLECTIONS, SUMMER and DIVE. Tabita explains that ‘I see the horizontal line in a visual as a timeline. When we look at a visual, we “read” it like we read a book.’ This is particularly interesting when looking at pieces such as REFLECTION (Acrylic on canvas, 8.27 x 8.27 inches + 11.26 x 16.54 inches + 8.27 x 8.27 inches). This trilogy of abstract paintings is about feelings. It was created during a live session among friends. It happens to be one of the first works Tabita created in London. There is a clear linear quality to these pieces. It’s almost as if the light blue sky and its clouds, creating a horizontal impression, are intersected with short vertical strokes of deep green and dark yellow. It is almost as if Tabita is painting over the cloudy skies of London, creating new impressions and new interactions between colours and lines – the colours blue and yellow have somewhat interacted and transformed into a deep green in the same way the vertical and horizontal and vertical lines converge and small layered strokes.
Come see the great artwork on display while you can!
Until next time,