09 September 2015

Reflect the Light

Now open at LEA18, as one of the Linden Endowment for the Arts Artist-in-Residence grants, is Reflect the Light, a multi-location installation by Kiesta Aljon. With one exception, the environments are dark and shadowy, allowing the luminous and colorful artwork (often abstract but sometimes representational) to glow. One senses immediately upon arrival that the artist seeks to probe certain feelings or emotions: our path through the first series of artworks (detail, image above), marked by red arrows, is punctuated by texts such as "I am not the light/ Or the source of the light/ But I can reflect the light/ Into the dark hearts of man," or "Dark Heart of Man/ Loss of Faith and Hope/ The Dark Night of the Soul."

One eventually reaches four doors that serve as teleports to additional scenes such as those in the middle two images, and these photographs really don't do the artworks justice, as many of them are in motion, either slowly undulating or gently moving in space. The final door, quite distinct from the others, leads into a checkered black and white environment (lowest image). All the works, from the more narrative-driven ones encountered on arrival to the more abstract pieces seen in the additional galleries, are well presented and created with skill. The artist notes that she may add some additional areas over time, so a check back to see would be warranted.

All that said, we all have aesthetic preferences, and mine weren't particularly engaged at Reflect the Light, but I'm sure some visitors will enjoy their adventures. I was, frankly, bothered that the artist repeatedly hyped trips to her private gallery, by signs and notecards and landmarks, "where many of these creations are for sale," bringing a commercial feel to the generally non-profit LEA experience. Reflect the Light will remain on display through December.

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