Tim Barnes





Laura Buckley's projected image and sound collage surges with exuberance. Sculptural forms and video projections reshape the gallery into a cave-like, psychological dreamscape where fleeting memories jitter from floor to ceiling.

Inanimate surfaces and structures vibrate with abstract scenes flickering as though moving from thought to thought. This space becomes extraordinarily dynamic, digital but absolutely human, existing somewhere between states of fixity and flux.

The irregularity of the glitch in 'The Magic Know-How' occurs throughout like momentary, unpredictable sparks of genius. This happens in both the videos which chew-up and spit out moments from Buckley's ordinary life and in the surfaces of the sculptures.

Alternate spaces are conjured from 'Suspended Hexagon'. The perspex is a medium, a means by which Buckley can produce tessellating repetitions and angular fragments of projected images. Worlds collide as these luminous fragments meet their reflections and enjoy new possibilities of splaying out into infinity and push through the boundaries of design.

The sculptural objects and the projected videos form a symbiotic relationship. Light from carefully positioned projectors is captured and held in 'Flotation Chamber' by semi-transparent screens, forming a sort of observation cubicle. On entry, this works to envelope the viewer in a mesmerising but melancholy space, a watery dimension where flecks of light and floating plastic shapes sparkle.

In collaboration with musician Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club, Buckley has created an auditory environment that unfolds in concert with her visual material. The sound is utterly physical, stirring the atmosphere and charging it with anxiety. It gives the air a solidity that cushions listeners from the world outside.

Light collects here and there in angular pools, creating corridors and tunnels to be negotiated. Viewers occasionally become quite actively involved as they are caught in the crossfire of the projector beams, their shadows casting human-shaped black-spots on the videos. Gravity somehow feels to have less effect and the whole atmosphere seems to be thickened into an artistic soup within which visitors can feel totally immersed.

This entire exhibition is remarkably painterly, thoroughly re-examining long-established attitudes towards surface and light with a distinctive, striking aesthetic. The process of continually layering or reworking and creating the illusion of perspective in fictional spaces can both find roots in painting. 'The Magic Know-How' reconsiders our relationship with digital technology and perhaps Buckley answers the call of Charles Baudelaire's famous and ever pertinent plea for a painter of modern life.


10 August to 21 September 2013, Site Gallery, Sheffield












"The Magic Know-How reconsiders our relationship with digital technology and perhaps Buckley answers the call of Charles Baudelaire's famous and ever pertinent plea for a painter of modern life".