Wednesday 23 June 18:00 - 20:30

October Gallery
24 Old Gloucester Street
London
WC1N 3AL

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Private View of Rafael Trelles: Axis Mundi

Performing & Visual Arts

Book to exclusively view Axis Mundi, a new exhibition by Rafael Trelles at October Gallery on Wednesday 23rd June 2021.

This first solo exhibition of new works by Rafael Trelles, explores the notion of the Axis Mundi, a mythic tree that represents a portal between this and other worlds.

Each painting in the Axis Mundi series was realised in a two-step process based on a technique made popular by the Cubist painter, Óscar Domínguez. Known as decalcomania, the technique was quickly adopted by Surrealists such as Max Ernst and André Breton, who were interested in allowing the unconscious to manifest in their works. By first using spontaneous gestures to daub paint onto his canvas, Trelles creates an abstract ‘original stain’ that, essentially, acts as a large Rorschach blot. This becomes the ambiguous ground onto which Trelles initially projects and then ‘discovers' emergent forms and figures, which he further highlights and defines using conventional oil painting techniques. The results – part unconscious projection, part masterly production – are enigmatic and mysteriously evocative dreamscapes.

Many of the paintings were created during a difficult period of pandemic ‘lockdown’, in 2020, during which the artist, isolated in his urban studio, persevered with his work. Despite the climate of fear and distress, the paintings flowed easily, spontaneously arranging themselves into a sequence of visions of a dreamlike forest world, where humans, surrounded by metamorphic elements of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, are depicted as integral parts of a stable, organised and unified system. Half-hidden spirit-figures seem to emerge from the shadows, appearing as silent witnesses, bearing critical intelligence about the growing challenges of climate change and species extinction that affect us all.

Trelles writes: Without doubt, ecological disruption and the growing environmental crises are implicitly present in my work. The inhabitants of these imaginary worlds are fully integrated with nature. As they metamorphose into plants and animals, they epitomise a symbolic expression of ecological ethics. I hope that cosmopolitan audiences in London, who value the cultural richness transmitted in the animistic beliefs of the ancient peoples of these islands and beyond, will identify with the vision of reality that I propose. If we read the runes correctly, we realise that we are not just in nature – we are nature, and to destroy nature is to destroy ourselves.

For any enquiries regarding your booking, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

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