Colour and Beat

These pieces, comprising 4 x 4 x 3/4 inch wooden tablets placed in grid formation, are concerned with exploring and manipulating the spacial and rhythmical qualities of colour and light within a rigorous structure. Music has always inspired me and these pieces are my expression of its fluidity and its underlying structures and constraints.

The Colour Fugues are site-specific installations. All five facets of the tablets are painted with different hues of colours that interact to create a dynamic interplay. Colour Fugue I (installed in a hallway), consisted of over 300 tablets and the viewer experienced an oscillation of colours alluding to a kinetic movement depending on whether you were walking from right to left, left to right or up or down the stairs. “Melissa Alley enlivens the basement with the syncopated beat of brightly coloured squares.“ Sarah Kent on DIY: 19 Variations on the Theme of Wallpaper (co-curated by Alley), Time Out, 2000.

Colour Fugue II 2000

In Colour Fugue II three rows of tablets were mounted up high to create a frieze that compelled the viewer to look upward to the ornate architrave of the Regency property. I wanted to highlight over-looked elements of buildings and to combine this with the experience one can have when entering a religious building and on sensing something above, look up to discover beautiful frescoes or ornate gold carvings.

Ensemble 2003

The Ensemble paintings play with the spacial relationships between colours, creating a rhythmical interchange between the background and foreground (and the colours on the edges). Though painterly detail is present, it plays a secondary role to the overall effects of the piece. So, the picture resonates and alters depending on the angle of the sunlight on the surface.