Exhibited in Social Structures, curated by Amy-Clare McCarthy at Metro Arts, Brisbane.
7-24 June, 2017
Kinly Grey’s work between us takes a less overt approach to exploring interpersonal relationships. It uses the interaction of objects to convey the complex and sometimes contradictory emotions associated with our often-futile attempts to connect with people. A round, slightly aged mirror is suspended from the ceiling with a spotlight a few meters away pointed directly at it. During the daylight hours the light produced by the spotlight is hardly distinguishable and at night the beam of light, is almost a solid material in itself, penetrating the air and striking the mirror with confidence. Grey’s work imbues these simple objects with an emotional narrative; the mirror and light have something between them. They are not physically touching but are communicating in a seemingly intimate way, sending out light and bouncing it back.
For me, between us evokes associations with a lonely lighthouse trying to communicate with ships far out at sea, or of signal mirrors, used to try and catch the attention of a rescue party. The spotlight is always projecting its light out, but only sometimes is the beam returned. Depending on when the work is viewed it can seem like an ode to the strength of intimacy to exist even without the physical; like love that spans oceans, built on a deep trust. Other times it seems somewhat hopeless, relentlessly trying to make a connection that won’t be reciprocated. It seems bitter-sweet, hopelessly endearing and vulnerable. Grey mentions the way the objects themselves are imperfect but honest: ‘the light is dusty, the stand is filthy with paint on it, the mirror is chipped and the chords and plugs are visible’.4 The objects bring with them their own histories and vulnerabilities and the work therefore seems to speak of the inherent risk of putting oneself ‘out there’, warts and all, and the possibility of rejection.-Sarah Thomson
Taken from Social Structures by Sarah Thomson for In Residence ARI