16 September - 30 October
Inhale. Jump with us into the sea. Spread your toes, feel its cool depths thread between your limbs as you are propelled upward. Rise to the surface and look out at the horizon through newly vaselined eyes. Exhale. Push forward, curl over yourself and become a body of water. Inhale. Dive into crisp snow, bury yourself in its crystal cloak and peer out. Exhale. Condensation clouds pool above your head, giving your location away as if you were hiding. I want you to stay. I want her to stay, spend time with me as I don’t know when to be. Breathe. Let’s lean on each other, our entities twined or twinned yet endlessly morphing. Inhale. But it was indoors when I fell, your body outlandishly out of sync with the music. Moist skins closing in together and parting, pulsing in and out, enabling glimpses of you when I saw you last night on the dance floor. Heart quickens so that I must remember to breathe. Exhale.
Ra Tack‘s work invites the viewer into a lush, timeless world that is simultaneously familiar and fantastic. Stepping into their rich and colourful landscapes, we encounter the melancholic and mystical. Paintings that are restless and won’t settle, speaking to themes of transition, duality, longing and still life.
It’s cool, dark, dank, and musty down here, while bare soles and heels still exposed above ground are prickling as they heat up in the sun’s rays. Inhale. A taste of iron and decay enters the mouth as you breathe in the earth. What are we doing headfirst in the dirt again? Oh, that’s right – soil relations! Now these take time… they’re ongoing, as is ecological time and we want rich relations. None of this agricultural time, we want a poem for you in the soil. Exhale. After I was with you, a space was made that felt empty but also provisional, earnest, and excited. Inhale. A hole is not a void, it touches that which holds it and is necessary for something new to emerge… Like soil relations. Exhale.
We can consider these paintings as psychic-scapes that speak to Ra’s experience of transitioning. Canvases that resonate with Susan Stryker’s description of transitioning as a becoming directed toward an unknown destination. Ra’s becoming is not restricted to the binary codes of patriarchal culture but oscillates between representation and abstraction. Mutable and fluid, Ra’s practice places recognisable images into a world of autobiographical myths and visual poems.
Inhale. Juice drips downwards, streaking your chin with orange, pink and green hews, as we ate fruits in the garden. Escapee pips fall further, leaving sugary trails to crush your collar bone along with the dusk. If you see her. She is veiled, her skin is glistening with a slickness. A sickness. None of the orchard was forbidden, most were sweet. Exhale. As dawn rises, we question are we still lovers… Take a deep breath in. I loved walking together in our fields, our strides so distinct that they moved in and out of unison. Rhythms between us are complex, we are the music but of course there is light and shade. Release the breath and tension. A coming together and the inevitable times apart. We drew a line together, perhaps it was always there, but we believed that we built the tracks towards each other. Inhale. They were listening in silence. You told me everything.
Ra is a Belgian born artist, currently based in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. They hold a BA and MFA in painting from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, KASK and University College Ghent, Belgium.
Supported by the Icelandic Art Center
They are a 1 minute walk from Cambridge Heath railway station and 6 minutes from Bethnal Green station.
Buses: The D6, 106 and 254 stop close by.
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