Kate Richards’grove is a luminous soft architecture inspired by the rich cross-cultural and natural forms of the woodland grove. Set in a moat of reflective darkness, grove is comprised of a dynamic light array, its floor molded from black rubber crumb and paths of glittery rock salt. The choreography of light-as-media is rhythmic and gently changeful, playing with the inherent materiality of light, it’s ‘faktura’ – reflectivity, transparency, volume and their others, absorption, opacity, and void.
This work is based on the artist’s new practice-led research into how embodied and precognitive perceptions of light and movement are fundamental to our engagement in an environment. We are in a dynamic and ecological relation to the environment and everything in it – including ourselves. Those movements within us and outside us, give rise to affects, the precursor states to doing, feeling and knowing. By eschewing content and ostensible interactivity and with its minimalist palette (of light and its antonym darkness) grove invites visitors into a quiet ecology in which to dwell and be immersed in these core registers of visual and spatial perception: grove affords audiences a sense of interiority. Like all groves, the installation space is literally and metaphorically animated and made sacred by light.
Situated here within Sydney, a city of modern flows, grove deflects, disrupts and inverts the urban chaos, affording visitors a refuge, a heterotopic space that is once contained in and removed from the surrounding urban noise. To enter grove is to experience this becoming, reflection and disruption, and to dwell in an immersive and contemplative space in which context has been dismantled and the pure medium of flowing light remains. As both a light installation and a sacred, soft architecture, grove plays on aesthetics of illusion and revelation, form and dissolution, gentle movement and occasional stasis. You are invited to move around, to wander within yourself in this immersive choreography of light, where relations are altered and time is transformed.