One of the Laing’s original Edwardian galleries is being totally transformed by Newcastle-based artist Rosie Morris in her first solo exhibition in a UK public institution. Circles Are Slices Of Spheres is an ambitious architectural installation which addresses levels of spatial existence. There’s a dialogue between the ‘object’ and the ‘dwelling space’ being explored here; the object that holds the story is a monumental painting enveloping the viewer in a vast expanse of subtle colours and illusionistic shadows, with the dwelling space the gallery itself.
Rosie explains: “I am interested in how we experience architectural spaces, particularly those that act as monuments for time. For each space, its specific context is integral to informing my work; so here working with a gallery is key. Not only do I want to harmonise and accentuate the fantastic Edwardian Architecture in the Laing Art Gallery, but I also want to look at its nature as a meditative space for viewing art. To me, the gallery acts as a contained and elevated platform. I want to emphasise this sense of being separated from the City outside and play on the behaviours we associate with this experience.”
The spatial acoustics are accentuated by a sound commission by Blank Studios’ producer Sam Grant, evoking a feeling of focus and separation, challenging the ideas of the sublime and hushed atmosphere associated with viewing art.