CHRISTINA AUGUSTESEN - THROUGH THE SPACE OF LIGHT
19. 03. 22 - 30. 10. 22
Christina Augustesen’s works of art render daylight visible. Angled coloured acrylic panels refract the daylight, making it possible to observe and sense the otherwise unnoticeable shifting intensity of the light minute by minute. The works are best experienced by viewing them over time or by moving around them.
Most of the works in the exhibition Through the Space of Light were created for the rooms at the Bornholm Art Museum that face north and, thus, the sea. They relate to the architecture’s embrasures and to paintings by two of the collection’s prominent artists, Edvard Weie and Niels Lergaard. The works are displayed in a manner that makes it possible to discover their mutual relationships, both close up and at a distance.
Scale is a crucial feature of Christina Augustesen’s works. The works are literally suspended at eye level and their dimensions immediately relate to the human body. The works’ titles indicate how they are openings, passageways and devices for capturing the light and reducing the biggest object in the Solar System – the Sun – to human format and using its light as an artistic material.
Other natural and meteorological phenomena are crucial sources of inspiration for the artist. Augustesen exhaustively studies the colours’ hues and intensity around the horizon line and the colours that change depending on the direction of the wind or the weather. Water molecules and particles in the air disperse the light differently depending on wind and weather and are affected by temperatures at sea and on land. The colours emerge in the dispersion of the light.
Another essential feature of Christina Augustesen’s works is their degree of transparency. The more opaque an acrylic panel is, the more difficult it is for the eye to focus on the panel’s edges, and the softer we perceive the transitions between the colours to be.
The softening of transitions between colours has been a feature of pictorial art since Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, using a technique called sfumato. Renaissance painters used the method to infuse their paintings with more life and atmosphere, but also to let the onlooker see what is beyond the immediate reality.
Christina Augustesen’s works make it difficult to focus on a line, rendering it impossible to fully comprehend or understand what one is seeing. The highly precise execution of the works is a prerequisite for the experience itself. The fact that Augustesen uses light as her material evokes an intangible and, to some perhaps, a spiritual sensation.
Listen to Christina Augustesen explain her works and sources of inspiration in more detail in a short film produced for the exhibition. The film is shown in the art museum’s cinema and can also be watched on the website.
Christina Augustesen (b. 1975) is a pictorial artist with a background in architecture and lighting design. In 2021, she received the Danish Arts Foundation’s three-year work grant to explore light and its significance for the sensory perception of objects and spaces. Augustesen has exhibited at a number of collective exhibitions in Denmark and abroad, and she has created decorative projects for public spaces and institutions. Through the Space of Light is her first solo exhibition at an art museum.
Through the Space of Light is one of several exhibitions which, in the years ahead, will lay the groundwork for a future Museum of Light and Art at the Bornholm Art Museum. The Museum of Light and Art will present interdisciplinary exhibitions of international calibre. The point of departure for the exhibitions will always be artists who are devoted to exploring art through light. The perspectives are abundant and exciting. At present, the art museum features two exhibitions, Christina Augustesen’s exhibition and Ruth Campau’s Sunset Boulevard exhibition, being presented at the same time along the central axis of the art museum and in one of the lower galleries, which focus on daylight.
Daylight defines the fundamental living conditions on the Earth: the seasons, biological rhythms, the weather and vegetation. Daylight directly affects our body and mind and has been part of religious ideas through the ages. As many professions are involved with daylight, we have invited an architect, a meteorologist, a dean, a historian of ideas, a chronobiologist and an astrophysicist to see the exhibitions and reflect on how the works of art can inspire the work of their own profession. Their contributions will be published at the exhibition and on the art museum’s website on an ongoing basis.
Acknowledgements: the Danish Arts Foundation, Poul Johansen Fonden af 1992, Arne V. Schleschs Fond, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968, Beckett-Fonden, Konsul George Jorck og hustru Emma Jorcks Fond, Dreyers Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond, Oda og Hans Svenningsens Fond, Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat, 15. Juni Fonden, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond and the Danish Art Workshops.