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[slidepress gallery=’catherine-yass-at-alison-jacques’]


The new film and series of photographic lightboxes by British artist Catherine Yass focus on one of the more remarkable maritime structures in Britain, the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse located five miles out to see of England’s south coast. On Thursday January 12thAlison Jacques Gallery allowed viewers a preview to the exhibit that officially opened January 13th.

The show features four lightboxes, two which are displayed in a dark room and one film. The film titled Lighthouse captures imagery filed from a range of different vantage points including helicopter, a fishing boat and deep-sea divers. This range of dramatic perspectives takes the camera from high up about the town, down the column and under the water.

The series of four lightboxes capture the lighthouse from the viewpoints of the four cardinal points on the compass over the course of one day, thereby articulating not only the sense of physical navigation around the structure, but also the passage of time. Yass’s signature technique has the sun inverted by the negative into a deep blue-black blind spot, turning the image inside out into an internal landscape, a poetically altered reflection of reality.

This technique is said to have developed from “a happy accident” when Yass incorrectly loaded the film in her camera causing the negative to develop with colours that did not represent the landscape she was capturing.

The 12 minute film is screened on one entire gallery wall giving the viewer a dizzying array of images as the camera, in constant motion follows a trajectory around the lighthouse. As the viewer experiences the camera turning, circling spiraling, inverting, and submerging, the colour continuously intensifies, as does the music accompanying it.

Laura Cumming of The Observer described the work as an “eerie and vertiginous experience [and] is one of Yass’s best works to date… The angles are blended – grazing the waves, rushing below, rising to aerial viewpoint – and the pace changes to the point where the experience is dizzying. The film fills one’s entire optical range, as it seems, with something too strange to grasp.” (2011)

Lighthouse was commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhil-on-Sea in East Sussex and was produced with funding from Arts Council England, Alision Jacques and Gallery Lelong, New York. Yass was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2002. She currently lives and works in London.


Dates and Times:

Lighthouse will be displayed until February 11th 2012.

Gallery hours are 10-6pm, Tuesday to Saturday or by appointment.

Alison Jacques Gallery

16-18 Berners Street London W1T 3LN

(0)20 7631 472  nfo@alisonjacquesgallery.com   www.alisonjacquesgallery.


Article by Daria McWilliams for XXXX Magazine