Mathilde and Kayak at Raglan Shire

Raglan Tree Gallery: Mathilde Vhargon

Currently open through until the end of March 2019 at the Raglan Tree Gallery are two exhibitions by two physical world artists who have a very different focus for their art to one another.

Mathilde Vhargon entered the world of the arts as a classical musician, but for the last 10 years she has seen digital art as her creative medium, having originally  presented 3D sculptures in Second Life before moving to 2D creativity using Gimp and ArtRage.

Raglan Tree Gallery: Mathilde Vhargon

My paintings suggest themselves to me a little at a time without conscious planning. I often use small sections of them as materials to develop into new paintings. I also like to create kaleidoscope and mandala versions of some of my original paintings.

I love strong colours and flowing abstract forms. You will often find ambiguous suggestions that lead the viewer to imagine various possibilities and interpretations. I am most happy when my art creates a chain of associations and questions about life and humanity.

– Mathilde Vhargon, discussing her art

Raglan Tree Gallery: Mathilde Vhargon

The richness of abstraction in Mathilde’s work is immediately evident on seeing the piece presented at Raglan Tree. These are bold pieces, rich a colour and depth, some encompassing natural shapes and elements – flower petals, leaves or the suggestion of a squirrel. Also on display are monochrome pieces, together with simple paintings that perfectly convey their sentiment, all rounded out by a collage-like piece Toward the Light and even one with a fractal-like suggestion to it, Memories of Grandma, that make this an eye-catching and rewarding selection to visit.

Sharing the gallery space with Mathilde is Kayak Kuu. Apparently taking his name from the fact he used to teach whitewater kayaking, his interests span the theatre and computers – he makes note of both his love of all things Macintosh / Apple and that a good deal of his time is spent immersed in community theatre activities. He is also an avid photographer, as his exhibition at Raglan Tree more than demonstrates.

Raglan Tree Gallery: Kayak Kuu

Photography has been a hobby of his most of his life since the black and white and early Polaroid instant film days … [he] travels extensively and that is where many of his photographs displayed here come from.

– from the notes accompanying Kayak’s exhibit at Raglan Tree

Just how extensive Kayak has been fortunate enough to travel is certainly laid witness to in this exhibition. Pictures from across the United States sit shoulder-to-shoulder with those from Canada, Europe, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Roatan…

Raglan Tree Gallery: Kayak Kuu

Such is the diversity of locations on offer, I suspect that anyone who has travelled in the United States or France or the UK in particular are liable to recognise some of the locations Kayak has uniquely captured. I admit to smiling through each of his pictures of York, Belfast and Edinburgh, all of which have particularly happy memories for me, as did his image of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C).

Presented in the round in on one of Raglan Shire’s great tree platforms, these are selections of art that demonstrate (again) that physical world art can have a place in our pixel lives and – with Kayak’s work – allows us to witness small scenes from places in this world we might otherwise not get to see.

Raglan Tree Gallery: Kayak Kuu

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