Dark Ages is a solo exhibition showing a series of nocturnal light drawings made on the Danish island of Bornholm alongside further works made in New Zealand, Bulgaria, the UK, and Zanzibar. A parallel series of works combining paint and light drawing will also be on show.
‘Two years ago I visited the Danish island of Bornholm and made a series of nocturnal light drawings in the landscape along the beautiful and varied coastline. I have been making these long exposure photographs for many years having first started experimenting with the technique as a teenager using black and white film. There is something fascinating about making a photograph over a relatively long time – each exposure takes anything from twenty seconds to two minutes. Whereas a photograph usually represents a frozen moment of time these images are built gradually with the movement of light more as a painting in created from layers of paint. I am physically present within the frame, drawing with handheld lights, although I am not visible as I am not illuminated and am not still for long enough. The resultant images represent a reality, although a reality that would not have been visible to any witness present.’
Kirsten Reynolds, 2019
The photographs she takes are records of her brief journeys as she weaves skeins of light before the lens, sometimes white, sometimes coloured. Her trajectory leaves traces which form shapes shifting from transparent, through opaque to sinuous lines with the tensile precision of steel. Sometimes the landscape is barely discernible, just a dense tactile space, at other times the forms drift over recognisable terrain like mist that is impossibly articulated, or a bolt of fine silk, each fold of which is impossibly crystalline, or a transparent titanium sculpture. It looks like an extraordinary natural event, like the aurora borealis, or freak electrical activity.
Of course it’s all an illusion. The shape has an illusory concreteness created by the passage of time. If you were there, you wouldn’t see it. That’s the point. Kirsten is fascinated by the idea of recording something which didn’t actually happen, not in that form. Yet it is a genuine record of energy and movement, and so, at the same time, not an illusion at all, but a very clear exposition of intent and process.
Simone Witney, Hastings Independent Press, 2017
Reynolds has exhibited worldwide from the Hayward Gallery in London for Sonic Boom; The Art of Sound, the first international exhibition of Sound Art, to the Hong Kong Arts Festival with Power Plant, in which five artists present over thirty site-specific sound and light installations in a Botanic Garden. Power Plant has won critical acclaim at major arts festivals around the world and was a key event at the Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand in 2017. Reynolds was recently commissioned to create new light installations for two major English Heritage events and a solo exhibition Dark Ages was shown in 2018 at Bermondsey Project Space, London.