Walking Up to Chase Dragonflies
21 OCTOBER - 02 NOVEMBER 2023
On Wings and Shimmer
As the heat descends, we wander outdoors. The colors — warm, shimmering — register images clear as day, but as our memory cycles through them, a patina forms as each moment overlaps; they become one and the same, but they also become strikingly different. Then you find yourself waking up in an afternoon straight out of your childhood.
It’s time to go and run about. The world pans out in 360, and the layers each have intuition. As they gather, it identifies a field of vision: a compilation of fine detail which in the end abstracts the whole.
We go out to play, and eventually we tire out from the anticipation and excitement. Imagine being out in the fields, picking flowers, tiptoeing precariously by the edge of a river — the thrill is like nothing else. Or climbing a treehouse you randomly stumbled upon, where further down a secret path you find an abandoned house. Shall we explore it? Before you know it, it’s time to rest.
We are all subject to entropy: our cells slowly wither, we get old, we rot away as the heat leaves our bodies. It is somehow the same for childlike wonder. As we age, what we had found enjoyable loses its mystery; we become preoccupied with matters of consequence. Our field of view is filled by a heat haze. Yet, if we try, we can actually tap into that memory, that past happiness. Sometimes it comes to us out of nowhere.
Victoria Fabella gathers subjects from her photoshoots, collages them, distresses them, layers them until they have an unfamiliar familiarity. What is recognizable gets masked, but these masks also reveal. This body of work explores attempts at replicating the passing of time, an invisible ageing that catches you off guard one day. You find yourself reminiscing about what may not have happened at all. Among blotches and bleeds, the oil paintings paint as photographs – faded, barely there. But the images are not of people or places; there is no age, no gender. What we are presented with are abstractions that sum up collective feelings — fleeting, floating, found moments that cannot be accurately put into words, but somehow in your mind, it is exactly like how you imagine: clear, blurry, scattered, vague – however you remember it in your mind.
Like dragons for dragonflies, fantasy becomes self-realization. The pangs of early adulthood nags, as one further floats between too young and too old. Is innocence really that far behind? Is it too late to remain playful? Each canvas is a longing to experience, an anemoia of sorts. Maybe it really did happen.