Liberty and Anarchy : Nike Savvas

November 30, 2012

Leeds Art Gallery is preparing for the colourful launch of ‘Liberty and Anarchy’, the first major UK solo show in over ten years by Australian artist Nike Savvas, which includes the UK premiere of several new works. 

A central installation ‘Liberty and Anarchy’ takes over the largest gallery and involves 18 large screens which hold hundreds of individually placed, taut plastic, brightly coloured ribbons.  The installation can only be fully appreciated in person as it creates a three-dimensional moiré effect. This new, large-scale installation  incorporates panels fixed from the floor to the ceiling, allowing audiences to view the colourful ‘cascade’ of ribbons and the alternating, shimmering colours. 

Savvas, 48, is best known for the internationally acclaimed exhibition ‘Atomic: Full of Love, Full of Wonder’ (2005, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne) in which thousands of brightly coloured polystyrene balls were suspended in the gallery, shimmering gently in the breeze of carefully positioned fans, but which could only be viewed from a distance. Playing with the creation of an all encompassing installation version of a moiré painting, ‘Liberty and Anarchy’ will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the colours, movement and depth which have become synonymous with her installations.

In a second gallery space Savvas premieres eight 3D geometric shapes of varying sizes made from wood, which have only previously been exhibited in her home country.  The shapes, some of which are split open whilst others remain complete, have been designed and crafted according to a meticulously worked mathematical formula. Savvas then uses wool and steel to create her own unique moiré motif on the surfaces of the shapes, a bespoke design which took a year to develop. Alongside these structures, seven moiré black and white paintings use the same mathematic formula, and are in effect, painted representations of the 3D shapes. 

The exhibition opens to the public on Friday 7 December and closes on February 24 2013.