Summer 2000 International Artist-in-Residence Program

Ten + One Illuminations

About the exhibition

For ArtPace, Sawyer has concentrated on a single work, Ten + One Illuminations, that balances the theatricality of installation with the material traditions of sculpture. Upon entering the darkened gallery, the viewer navigates a field of circular forms, varying in size, which seem to hover above the floor. The interior of each object is gold leafed and lit from above with a dramatic spotlight. The result is an arrangement of almost blinding surfaces that bounce soft reflections throughout the gallery. As the viewer moves through the dream-like space, they become immersed in the radiance of the objects and the warmth of the reflections. Sawyer states, “In this mysterious landscape of light, I hope to create a sublime environment that is simultaneously tangible and intangible.”

With direct architectural references to the luminous interior of the Kinkaku-ji temple in Kyoto and to the sculptural floor of the Aholi temple in India, this installation expands on Sawyer’s interest in Eastern sacred spaces. The artist effectively presents a phenomenon of choices rather than a singular answer. The collective power of Sawyer’s objects and the mystery of their presence heighten Sawyer’s universal concerns.

Ten + One Illuminations is a logical progress of Sawyer’s previous work in which the viewer was on the periphery, looking in. Here, Sawyer’s installation is activated by the viewer’s presence, bringing the work even closer to the function of a sacred space. While visually dynamic, the work creates a contemplative space in which the optical effects of afterimage, reflection and surface transcend object-ness into the ephemeral.

Other works in this cycle