2023.3.17 – 4. 22
Duarte Sequeira welcomes Alfie Rouy’s (b.1998 Kent, England) debut solo exhibition ‘Space In-between ’. In his newest collection, Rouy leads his audience on a rich and deep exploration into the evolution of the soul and the space in-between death and rebirth. Emanating feelings of tranquillity, despair, love and serenity he hopes to bring forth what lies within the in-between.
Each piece in the exhibition focuses on a moment in time with the intent of encapsulating the current state of existence as seen through the perspective of a human eye. Encompassed by a mix of figurative and seemingly more abstract pieces, the space in-between death and rebirth holds a key to deciphering the mystery of each painting. Interlinking with one another, each painting’s relationship aims to form a loose narrative that depicts scenes of the emotional, physical, metaphysical, and elemental that all exist side by side and interdependently. Rouy’s works hope to ultimately enable us to perceive the world as it shifts in the 2020s.
Featuring 9 paintings of varying scales and styles, ‘Space In-between’ takes the viewer on a journey behind the scenes and beyond the perceived current state of our planetary evolution. Viewers are encouraged to delve into new pathways of thinking, starting with one of the larger paintings, The Transparency of Thought, depicting thoughts shifting from one mind to another through smooth brush marks and twisted, free-flowing forms. It challenges its audience to grapple with both the complexity and simplicity of human connection. This is further explored by the intentionally odd-painting-out, Laughing in the Face of a Hundred Million Dead People, which propositions its subjects to bear witness to a harsher reality. Finished in a fierce, erratic manner this painting stands out to capture the greed, destruction and corruption of big corporations and world leaders who only care for their own materialistic pleasures.
Shifting the viewer’s gaze once more, Rouy implements two polarising and seemingly abstract pieces in order to bring them together and expand upon the original intent of the exhibition itself. Rouy cleverly makes use of inversion in these two pieces in an attempt to directly interpret the space in-between death and rebirth. Through their parallels the duo become a symbol of balance, not only for each other but for the exhibition itself, inviting viewers to notice the balance and unity that underpins the entire collection.
Rouy’s artistic intentions are finalised by the biggest and most domineering work of them all, The Many Thoughts of an Ox’s Fading Eye displaying the final moments of life for an Ox as it collapses into the ground. The painting itself extends beyond Rouy’s physical reach and is not limited to the confines of his human body. Its size is deliberately striking and absurdly enlarged to emphasise the importance and magnitude of the moment in-between death and rebirth.
At every opportunity, Rouy hopes to portray a newer more authentic imagery that is better suited to our current condition – one which fits this new age, that both echoes traditional symbols in some ways and at the same time isn’t limited to the binds of previous interpretations of these emblems that have been manipulated over centuries. To do this, Rouy intentionally limits inspiration from external elements and instead focuses on working with his intuition and subconscious to allow further growth from within.
The works in this exhibition are no exception to this rule. Pushing his practice to new heights, ‘Space In- between’ embodies his true intention of transposing peace, love, wisdom, and unity upon the viewer in a way he never has before. Each piece aspires to unravel the current experience of the human psyche as it evolves and shifts into the 21st century, through depictions of reality in an elusive and non-realistic way, while also trying to capture its fundamental nature. ‘Space In-between’ is a daring and seductive addition to his growing repertoire of encoded imagery and playfully consistent patterns that purposefully allure their audience to realise their own existential conclusions about the reality we perceive and everything in-between.
Although being the first solo exhibition by Alfie Rouy, he has featured in multiple group exhibitions in London where he is based. Including ‘Tree and Leaf’ at Hannah Barry Gallery, ‘The Artist is Present’ at Guts Gallery, ‘Love is the Devil’ at Marlborough Gallery and ‘The Picture’ at Brooke-Benington.
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