Curious Matter presents ‘Dividing Light Measuring Darkness’

With the group exhibit “Dividing Light Measuring Darkness,” the Jersey City exhibition space Curious Matter explores the fearsome dark and the joyful light. Darkness hides dangers, light exposes them. Human beings need light to see, and darkness to dream. The 23 artists of “Dividing Light Measuring Darkness” evidence both.
The exhibition started Oct. 1 and runs to Nov. 6 on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. and by appointment, at Curious Matter, 272 Fifth St. Jersey City.
Ken Collins’ Sacred Geometry No. 16 has the primordial aspect of light separating from darkness. Whether the product of the Big Bang or Alchemy, it emits an air of the mysterious that is the property of both.
Hannah Kirkpatrick mines similar territory with Eye Cavern. Her dark glass sphere could be the universe before the Big Bang, or a black hole with light trapped inside.
The physical properties of light, its ability to be reflected and refracted, become the subject of Brian Edgerton’s video (False Color) Foil. The visible spectrum pulses across the faceted metallic surface, a rhythmic play.
The lightless depths of the cave inspire horrific imaginings of terrors lurking within. Heidi Lau gives a glimpse of what may lie beyond the shadows with her sculpture The Cave. Sharp, fang-like projections suggest a mouth to the underworld that will swallow the unwary. Skull-like shapes among the stalactites and stalagmites warn what fate has in store to all who enter.
Primal fears of the dark calmed once humans learned to use fire. Its friendly radiance soothed anxious thoughts. Yet, fire is a fickle friend and refuses to be tamed; it can also burn and easily destroy. Abraham McNally investigates the ambiguity of its power with his sculpture of rough-hewn firewood and mirror. The latent energy of fire and the reflective surface of the mirror suggest both active and passive elements of light.
Light and darkness have their psychological aspects. Jaclyn Conley and Erin Rachel Hudak see the dark side of human behavior through our emotional projections on animals. For Hudak, the wolf takes on the sinister personality of the cunning hunter in Wait! while Conley explores our primal suspicion of snakes by placing one within the homey glow of a china pantry. The allusion to food and temptations goes all the way back to creation.
Light can also communicate spectral impressions, as Kym O’Donnell reveals. After Stavley Bulford depicts a woman with a strange patch of light above her head. Is it the light of spirit or the light of idea? Either way it pierces Nyx’s veil as did Hemera to open our mind to possibility.
For more information on this exhibit, call (201) 659-5771 or visit


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