Review : Sensorium – The Unfurling By Jo Darvall
Sculpture Square , Singapore
8 – 11 July , 2014
Summoning all the five senses with merely works on paper may sound somewhat ambitious but artist Jo Darvall indeed accomplish this through her recent exhibition at Singapore’s Sculpture Square.
The viewer is first greeted by an invitation to partake some rice paper wrapped Chinese White Rabbit candy - a hint as to the paper medium being selected for many of the works. As one savors the candy, soundscapes by composer Jonathan Gaboury emanate and a striking sculpture beckons from afar, bathed in ever changing intense tones while its many folds twirl and unfurl with every movement of breeze – a mesmerizing vision.
With a companion series of water color works enveloping the viewer to complete the experience, Darvall stages an exhilarating and truly multisensory installation. With a mere few bold , measured strokes her paper works capture the atmosphere and expanse of the desert scapes of her home land . Yet other more abstract works erupt with vitality and energy. The works bear a strong testament to Darvall’s deft handling of contemporary ink painting with hints of distinctive traditional Chinese ink gestures. There are works created with a singular enormous brush, imbued with a unique luminosity and texture that summons up a mood of jubilation and celebration of nature’s bounty . Her palette for the encaustic works is arm and sophisticated - lyrically capturing vast lands with evocative brush marks and delicate gestures to form a charming cocktail of crimsons, brilliant yellows and earthy ochers.
Supremely confident in her handling of each medium Darvall processes the possibilities and potential of rice paper , wax , paint to bring forth effects which are curiously seductive and translucent . Indeed Darvall’s Sensorium has teased and unfurled all senses. We eagerly await the unveiling of the next encounter.
By Jean Tsai, Independent Curator , Singapore