The conceptual and thematic concerns of Jacky Redgate’s multifaceted practice have evolved with remarkable consistency over the past three decades. At the centre of Redgate’s interests is the investigation of the material world and the way we ascribe meaning and significance to its forms. As writer Jena Woodburn noted, ‘ours is a world in which space and the objects in it are rendered simultaneously fixed and knowable… In such a world matter is stable, but for Redgate it is not.’1
‘Light throw (mirrors) #1’ 2009 evolved from the series ‘STRAIGHTCUT’ 2001-2006, two of which are in the collection of the Gallery. But if light was used in previous series in order to separate the formal qualities of the objects from their functions, light itself becomes the focus of this new work. The resulting image is achieved purely through physical means – a contraption of objects attached to mirrors reflecting flashes of light – captured and printed via analog photographic formats. The employment of mirrors is taken to a new level of complexity in ‘Light throw (mirrors) #1’, where perception is stretched to the limit. Space is compressed, creating a void that is both claustrophobic and infinite.
References to the history of modernism abound in Redgate’s work and the series ‘Light throw(mirrors)’ is no exception. It looks back at geometric abstraction and in particular, the reflective metallic paintings of Ralph Balson from 1941.2 Here however, the challenge is to define what the photographed subject is. Are these reflections, pieces of mirror, or light itself? The ingeniously simple combination of these elements defies our impulse to classify and label, creating a phenomenological ripple as a result., ‘Light throw (mirrors) #1’ like much of Redgate’s work ‘emphasises the sensation of her imagery… to tease out an uncharacteristic palpability from her subjects, so that they emerge larger in the mind than in life’. 3
1.) Jena Woodburn, ‘Jacky Redgate’, ‘Eyeline’, no 56, 2004, pp 24-27
2.) See Ann Stephen, ‘Jacky Redgate. Light throw (mirrors)’, exhibition essay, William Wright//Artists, Sydney, 2011, pp 2-3
3.) Michael Desmond, ‘Jacky Redgate 1980-2003’, CASCA, Adelaide p 34
type C photograph
1/3 + AP
126.0 x158.0 cm image/sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.c. verso, black fibre-tipped pen "Jacky Redgate... (2009)...".
Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program 2011
Not on display
© Jacky Redgate
Shown in 1 exhibition
Jacky Redgate: the logic of vision, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Jun 2012–09 Sep 2012