Lucia Nogueira Brought to Light by The Henry Moore Institute

With such an extensive assortment of independent artistic pieces stored away, it’s a shame that there is only ever enough room for just a portion to be on display at any one time; thankfully, however, a fine compromise with Leeds Art Gallery is that whichever exhibitions are given a chance to shine, at least you have the opportunity to get fully involved end engaged.

Most recently put on display at the Gallery is an exhibition by Brazilian-born artist Lucia Nogueira. Focusing on themes of selfhood and reality, maturity and innocence, as well as fundamental lightness and darkness, Nogueira approaches sculpture and watercolour in fresh and exciting ways.

Although only spanning the smaller space of the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery at Leeds Art Gallery, the collection of Nogueira’s work which is on display is short but sweet. The first piece (or pieces) on display is a visually potent representation of fragmented reality and the fragility of self in material culture; a shattered chandelier covers the floor in an annulus. The individual components of this piece, titled Black, present themselves as both organised and fragmented, whole and broken, light and dark; as such, this piece exposes new potential for sculpture in the modern age.

The walls in the gallery are also decorated with a number of watercolours produced by Nogueira that focus on themes of childhood innocence and adult responsibility, with images of animals, both young and old, as well as references to childhood in the form of Winnie the Pooh. The paintings in this gallery are as crucial a component of her work as any of the intricately displayed physical pieces, and whilst only on paper, they represent just as many dimensions to think about.

To get a sense of the whole in this exhibition, you will need to examine the parts; whilst individual pieces of Nogueira’s art hold strong and are symbolically poignant in their own ways, the exhibition really ties itself together well through the interwoven themes. Consider this exhibition a well thought case through which different mediums can play their own unique role in building and carrying an artist’s message.

Lucia Nogueira’s work is on display until 20th January 2019.

Joseph Mason

Image Courtesy of the estate of the artist and Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery)