World of Wonder: L. Aviva Diamond
Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825, Los Angeles
through March 20 (gallery now closed)
Written by Genie Davis
At the Los Angeles Art Association’s Gallery 825, along with two other beautiful solo exhibitions and a juried group show comes L. Aviva Diamond’s powerful solo show, Light Stream.
Her immersive, large-scale photography presents a universe of meditative light and motion. Both delicate and transcendent, her abstract, mysteriously alchemic images depict water – swirling, sparkling, shifting. One enters a stunning spiritual space that crosses boundaries between dreamscape and natural beauty; the viewer enters a dazzling space that is at once haunting and holy. It would be hard to overstate the lush loveliness of the images, which pull the viewer in as if born on an all-encompassing wave.
Water rushes into sky, shifts through earth and atmosphere, flickers with dancing stars, and bubbles with irrepressible life. Diamond’s first Los Angeles solo gallery exhibition is truly awash with the celestial.
According to Diamond, who has been working on the series for approximately five years, the underlying bliss of the exhibition is part of a process to “translate the ineffable quality of meditation into visual form.” Meditating herself one afternoon on a California beach, she says she “suddenly saw stars and nebulae in the glints of light on crashing waves.” She had similar experiences with rushing streams in Oregon. Beginning to take photos and dive deeper into these images, she moved into what she describes as “painting with light and shadow in Photoshop to make the visual experience as close as possible to what I originally felt in my heart.”
A lover of ambiguity, she is particularly pleased when viewers are unsure if one of her works is a painting or a photo – unsurprising, as the works are created with painterly perfection and details. She adds “And it thrills me when the images people see within each piece begin to shift, causing them to look even more deeply at both the work and their own feelings.”
To reach the celestial nature of these images, she focuses on moments of heightened consciousness in which “we see beneath the surface of the world.” The works are her translation of these moments; and because of this vastness of intent, she feels not only that the work needs to be as impressive in scale as it is, but she wishes she could make it even larger. “The scale helps people to feel immersed and sense the vastness of the universe contained in each of its parts,” she says. The size also creates a sense of connectivity with energy, divinity, meditation, the beauty of water, and the knowledge that water is a life force.
Diamond has said that she wants people to feel as if they can plunge into the images and be a part of nature. Her purpose in these works is to create a deeper awareness in viewers of “the spirt that infuses everything in the natural world. [Viewers] are looking more deeply and seeing the miraculous in the everyday.”
Diamond is no Diamond in the rough here.
An artist talk is planned for Wednesday, March 18th from 7-9 p.m.