Laddie John Dill has been making sculptures, wall-pieces, and installations using concrete, glass, sand, and metal since the 1970s. He was influenced by Robert Rauschenberg, Keith Sonnier, Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, and Robert Irwin, who were working with earth materials, light, and space as an alternative to easel painting. Dill also paints with pigments derived from cement and natural oxides. (via artist website)
In Light Trap Series, Dill uses 6061 aircraft aluminum because it picks up light in a non-reflective way. The metal is curved by hand and polished, a procedure that turns it into a lens. The lens then pulls in the light and changes depending on the light around it.
Based on the actual set drawings Laddie designed for Benjamin Britten’s last opera “Death in Venice”, this series of paintings made from marine ply, black iron oxide, and cement wash won Dill the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. It is also inspired by the landscape of the Mojave Desert.
In this installation Light and Sand, Dill buries these neon light tubes in sand. He chose sand because it absorbs light from the tubes and distributes the color across the sand. The artist used a shovel to make these intricate calligraphic marks below. (See picture on the right below.)
In Light Plains, an argon tube is buried in the sand, right below the sheets of glass. The light is carried upwards through the edge of the glass sheets. One side of the glass sheet touches the second glass sheet, creating a 90 degree angle of light. The sand holds the glass systematically. The artist also added peat moss into the sand.
Photo courtesy of the artist
Light Sentences consist of mercury gas enclosed in glass tubing.
You can see more of the artist’s works on his website.
The show Contained Radiance runs from 5 August to 27 August at Whitestone Gallery in Taipei.
*Info Source: Contained Radiance, Whitestone Gallery Taipei