Salto Angel – Circa Magazine

Again with an emphasis on a domestic rather than ‘white space’ setting, Cross Gallery has been open in Francis Street for just over a year. Interestingly, Clea van der Grijn’s Salto Angel was an exhibition that would have worked equally well ( and possibly better in the case of some of the images ) in a sparer space. Based on a trip to Salto Angel, or Angel Falls in Venezula, Van der Grijn has created paintings which capture the dramatic meeting of the powerful water with earth and air. In the front part of the gallery, framed works on paper drew out in dark blues the patterns of rushing against rock. Three small triptychs called to mind through their colours and the mysterious movements of water through darkness. In the central area, long panoramic paintings showed vista of the interplay of shape and shade which drew you on to the drama of the back room. And it was here that one might have wished for a wider brighter space to adequately frame the drama of these images. Equally a development from, and a contrast to van der Grijn previous series of paintings, the calm, mediative underwater blues of deep-water diving, these large canvases were a rush of movement and hue. Alive with kinetic energy and contrast, blue sky merged into blue water as a series progressed, churned white as it dashed down against the changing patterns of black rocks. Van der Grijn manages to simultaneously capture the calm stillness of such a remote place and express the pure energy of the ever rushing water.