It is hard for Australians to appreciate the precious commodity daylight can be. Being almost permanently sun-drenched across the continent, it’s easy to take our weather for granted. Days when the sun is not a dazzling, stinging, fireball high above us are rare.
But for much of Europe, light is special and treasured – a source of true ecstasy during long winters and short days. When the first hints of warm weather bursts through, the change in energy is palpable. Summer’s long days are celebrated with gusto, a source of true joy after the interminable gloom of winter.
It is easy to get lost in the almost reverential luminosity of Helle Cook’s works. Vaguely recognisable forms dissolve into evocations of light and space too quickly to be recognised. Soft and fluid, they capture the ephemerality of nature – from dawn through to twilight, from Minjerribah to the Nordic Sea.
Increasingly, Cook’s painterly depictions of light have become sensory responses to the environment through the prism of the migrant experience, reflecting the tension of living between worlds. The gentle movement of floating linen set against the tautness of stretched canvas captures the transitioning landscapes as she travels between Australia, her native Denmark, and beyond.
Community of Light is Cook’s exploration of a desire to be more present, more critically aware, of her surroundings and the sensations they stir within. In physically enveloping us in her installation, she encourages us to seek that sensory awareness too.