Stephen Allwood, Wind, 2019. Oil on canvas. 91 x 122cm. Courtesy: the artist and OREXART, Auckland.
OREXART presents work by Stephen Allwood, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Narcissus.
Allwood employs tenebrism to explore the power of light in relation to his subject: flowers. He recalls a school experiment with a Crookes radiometer, where tiny wind vanes turn upon exposure to light, so proving that light is a wave and a particle. For Allwood, flowers are a perfect example for describing the ‘force’ of light over time.
Light depicts the beauty of flowers, whilst the light’s force (photon energy particles), works to destroy that beauty. Beauty lies in decay, much the same way as Vanitas and memento mori still-life artworks are reminiscent of the brevity and fragility of life.
In his exuberantly painted Narcissus, Allwood is expressing the visceral, unseen power of light.
Exhibition opens: 5:30–7:30pm Wednesday 5 June 2019