Isabel + Helen In Orbit ★★★ Saatchi Gallery | Aug 13 - Sep 5, 2021 - FREE


On entering In Orbit by Isabel and Helen we are confronted by huge white boards which contain a single circle of colour. We are told that this collection of imperfect circles and the tools used in their creation explore the space between mass production and the creation of unique art works. In doing so they are intended to question our relationship with machines. The artists built a special contraption to produce these pieces; the white boards slowly revolve on a turntable as paint is applied from above by static brushes. A film shows the actual process and the contraption itself is on display. Looking more closely we see imperfections in the circles where the boards come into contact with the brushes. The barren existence brought about by enforced inactivity during the pandemic might come sharply into focus. We see how tiny deviations grow to become disproportionately important. The work of each bristle on each brush is seemingly magnified. A single colour produces many differing shades with apparent serendipity. The artists have deliberately restricted their colour palette, which, once again, may serve to highlight the monotony of our recent lives. We were tempted to wonder what would have happened if more than one colour had been used at different distances from the centre. One feels that a certain amount of existential angst is involved in the generation of these works as frustration seems to surface again and again.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Image by Isabel Gibson and Helen Chesner.

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