You could be forgiven for missing the Elysium Gallery completely.
Tucked away on a busy Swansea street, the gallery offers a break from the madness and a descent into a calming, tranquil space.
Escaping into a different dimension is particularly apt for the current exhibition on display, Dalit Leon’s Time Signatures. Her focus for the artwork has been her ‘fascination with time…and the relationship between time and space; the passage of time but also the sense of timelessness.’
The light interior of the Elysium gallery is punctuated by eye-catching explosions of colour, some dark and brooding, others bright and uplifting – each of Dalit’s creations could potentially depict a galaxy within itself. Standing directly in front of The Journey of the Soul in Three Strings, one could be submerged in the vast empty spaces of the universe, the depth of the ocean or the grief of the human spirit. Dalit’s work may act as the connection between humanity, spirituality and the immense unknown of the universe.
If you are in search of realism, you won’t find it here. There are no clear boundaries within Dalit’s work and nothing is clearly defined. But, this is Dalit’s perception of reality; ‘for me, there’s no clear definition between the physical and the metaphysical and one is imbued in the other entirely.’
Her philosophy on this is extremely interesting as she goes on to explain, ‘I think we just learn to separate them in order to live in the real world, so to speak.’ Dividing the concrete from the abstract, in Dalit’s mind, allows us to compartmentalise and at least try to make sense of, the multi-dimensional world in which we live. Her vibrant oil painting Emergence II could almost act as the bridge between these dimensions, its golden centre resembling a soul’s ascent from the earth to the higher plane of heaven.
Although Dalit’s main interest lies in the visual, some of her artwork is accompanied by her own poetry, ‘the idea comes and then it kind of shapes itself into a form of poem,’ which compliments her work, creating an extra element to enforce her concepts. As well as articulating her ideas in text, Dalit is also extremely interested in the relationship between art and music. Music workshops have allowed Dalit’s audience to appreciate the visual aesthetics with audio accompaniment and explore her theory that ‘everything is another form, an expression of one being, one thing, one centre.’ Time Signatures, the title of the exhibition, is a musical term used to describe the pace of the music, but within Dalit’s artwork, it also represents a much deeper theory of the signature of time and the mark that it leaves as it passes us by.
A journey into time and space is what Dalit essentially wanted her audience to experience through her choice of colours and materials. Her pieces are mainly dark, as she says most people point out, but she tells me, ‘you’ve got to have darkness… that gives you that sense of space and that journey into something’. Shots of colour from petals that have been intertwined into the wool act as indicators to life amongst the gaping expanse of the universe. Along with the artwork on canvas, there is also a space in the gallery for the audience to interact with 3D wool balls that resemble suspended planets as well as crocheted swirls that bring to mind waves of light or sound. The use of wool in her art adds another structural element, allowing the audience to feel that they are indeed travelling elsewhere as well as giving Dalit an opportunity to explore the possibilities of felting on to canvas, ‘I totally fell in love with it…it’s so evocative.’
In her innovative use of materials and concepts, Dalit has drawn all aspects of art forms together to successfully create a visual, audio and tactile exhibition which evokes all of the senses.
And how did a young Dalit first fall in love with art? As well as growing up within an artistic family, Dalit vividly remembers a trip to Italy with her parents when she was very young, ‘we saw a lot of Michelangelo, I remember seeing La Pieta and being totally in awe.’ The magnificence of the art in the Italian capital combined with the love of art at home, inspired a young Dalit to pursue her love for the creative medium.
As Dalit’s exhibition explores the relationship between time and space, as well as notions of the human experience in the small time we have allotted here, I left the exhibition much more aware of how closely our lives are intertwined with the spiritual and the metaphysical. In another dimension, a young Dalit may still be walking the streets of Italy and, as time and space still move without any consideration of our existence, I have been inspired by the fact that everything is infinite.
Time Signatures is on at the Elysium Gallery until 4th June, every Wednesday – Saturday from 12 – 5pm. Admission free.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post & any opinions expressed are my own.
Images courtesy of the Elysium Gallery