In both science and art it is often instructive to use more than one framework to understand the same phenomenon or aspect of reality. In the Keil Art galleries in Florence and London, sculptor Samantha Keil uses this notion to show how an artwork can look quite different, and be characterized by different physical concepts, when viewed on very different length scales.
Her sought-after bronze sculptures and delicately spray-painted wax maquettes are both enigmatic and beautiful, and have been widely appreciated in Europe and America. Created with techniques mastered in the Ancient World and relearned in Renaissance times, the sculptures nevertheless have a modern and uniquely individual twist that has attracted the favourable attention of twentieth-century masters such as her Royal Academy patron Elisabeth Frink.
They saw that, quite deliberately, Keil’s creative process eschews models or photographs; all her sculptural work evolves via a series of dynamical interlocking processes involving her imagination, active information derived from the wave function of the universe, and music. Developers of modern theories of consciousness tend to regard as invalid the idea that mental states can be causally efficacious, but they haven’t seen Keil at work.
In some sense her sculptures are, like all objects in our universe, mere surface phenomena; they are explicate three-dimensional forms that have been temporarily unfolded out of an underlying and possibly higher-dimensional intrinsic order. Using high-technology augmented imagery, Keil is now creating sculptural photography installations exploring innovative ways of looking at form and structure through a different lens – the lightbox.
The microscopic world, represented mathematically by quantum theories of particles and dynamical fields, is in some ways simpler and in other ways infinitely more complex than the macroworld of surface reality. As we zoom in towards the microworld, one conceives of a notion that the universal wave function, the quantum organizing principle, the life force, the ‘fire within the belly of the universe’ reveals itself through geometry.
Gazing into the rippling coloured patinas in a Keil lightbox not only gives us a better view of the artist’s mind at work but allows us to evolve our perception of matter and to begin to glimpse its intrinsic order. Spectators often feel themselves hypnotized, simultaneously drawn inwards and pulled outwards by what the camera sees and they do not. Are our minds really separate from the rest of the universe?
With her large public gallery right in the centre of Florence devoted entirely to her work, Keil brings London contemporary art to the birth place of the Renaissance. She has studios in Borgo San Frediano, Florence and in the village of Vallico Sotto in the Tuscan Apuan Alps, and the company also has an office in Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Her new showhouse will open in via del Monte alle Croci, Florence in October 2017. She may be visited in all of these places by appointment.