Nicolas Sassoon
Serpentine River
Still from Liquid Landscapes animation at Surrey UrbanScreen
2018
Digital animation
Image courtesy of SITE Photography

Nicolas Sassoon
Serpentine River
Still from Liquid Landscapes animation at Surrey UrbanScreen
2018
Digital animation
Image courtesy of SITE Photography

Selected

Liquid Landscapes

Gallery Hours

M–Su: 30 min. after sunset–midnight

The latest site-specific artwork at Surrey Art Gallery’s offsite venue UrbanScreen highlights the natural beauty of Surrey’s parks, beaches, and rivers. On display on the west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, Liquid Landscapes (2018) captures the essence of local geography through pixel animations.

Inspired by photographs of seven key geographic sites around Surrey—such as Redwood Park, Nicomekl River, and Serpentine Fen—digital artist Nicolas Sassoon has created a series of hypnotic animations specifically for UrbanScreen. Changing every night, the animations invoke rippling reflections, flowing waves, and the growth and decay of foliage.

Sassoon renders the scenes in limited but vibrant colours informed by each location as well as by the retro, pixelated look of early web design. Condensing each location into a series of colours and shapes, Sassoon’s abstraction offers up impressions of Surrey’s natural environment while alluding to how digital images shape our own experience of the world. Ever more frequently, we observe nature through a lens, whether holding cameras in front of our faces or scrolling through friends’ pictures on social media. Liquid Landscapes illustrates the ascendance of data visualization methods and their mediation of real places.

The artwork is visible every night from half an hour after sunset until midnight and can be seen on site and from the SkyTrain. The exhibition is accompanied by an essay by curator Rhys Edwards, as part of the Surrey Art Gallery Presents publication series, available for free download from the gallery’s website.

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