Australian artist Nike Savvas brings Liberty and Anarchy to Leeds Art Gallery

By Ben Miller | 07 December 2012
A photo of a large white pillar next to a line of yellow patterns inside a gallery
Nike Savvas' new book, Full of Love Full of Wonder, coincides with a new show in Leeds© Jonty Wilde

Exhibition Preview: Nike Savvas: Liberty and Anarchy, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, until February 24 2013

The first UK solo show in more than ten years by Australian artist Nike Savvas is one to excite curators and anyone allured by flamboyant installations.

“I’ve wanted to do a show with Nike for a while,” says Sarah Brown, the curator of an exhibition featuring a central, eponymous installation involving 18 large screens holding hundreds of brightly coloured ribbons, viewable from walkable panels fixed from the floor to the ceiling.

“She’s well known in her native Australia, but less so in the UK.

“Her work is so wonderfully accessible, fun and engaging. I am always keen to make each exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery bespoke, and we have given Nike the freedom to work on a much larger scale than she has before.

“Liberty and Anarchy assaults you before you’ve even had a chance to think about what you’re seeing.

“It pushes Nike’s practice to a new level and invites our visitors to both experience and interact with the work”

In the second space taken over by the recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship in 2010, eight 3D wooden geometric shapes have been crafted to mathematical precision, with wool and steel forming motifs on the surfaces, accompanied by a set of seven black and white paintings which mirror them.

The idea is for visitors to immerse themselves in colours, movement and depth. Best known for a display at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art featuring thousands of brightly coloured polystyrene balls, the return of Savvas’ calculated playfulness is a welcome one in Yorkshire.

  • Open 10am-5pm (12pm-5pm Wednesday, 1pm-5pm Sunday, closed December 25 and 26, January 1 and Bank Holidays). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @LeedsArtGallery.
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