Look at the websites of galleries and art exhibitions – they are all taken with bright daylight, often in brilliant sunshine, even in cities like London. Yet, in winter in London, with the time that darkness falls and the grey weather during the day, many people visit galleries in grey light or in darkness when they take on a different characteristic, as seen at Lisson Gallery’s first-ever solo exhibition by British artist Roy Colmer (1935–2014) at Lisson Street near Edgware Road.
Colmer is an artist who works in a variety of media including painting, photography, graphic design and video, with an interest in science, technology and optical images of the time. The Lisson Gallery has a large ground floor window, which is accentuated by the pavement lights in front of it, through which passers-by can see inside and have a taster of the art and through which viewers inside can see the black inky world outside with visibility limited to a few metres away. It is intriguing to wonder what Colmer might have thought of this interaction with his work.
In the main galleries, the rooflights are black – in contrast to daytime, no light is coming through, though perhaps if you look up you might see the winter moon. There is a different dynamic to the day when natural light floods the galleries which, in the case of Colmer’s work, adds a new and interesting dimension.