Artist Focus 3: Alexis Rago

13 September, 2013

Over two decades, Alexis Rago has been exhibiting work in private and public galleries and is renowned nationally and internationally. As well as being a graduate in Biology from the University of Manchester, he subsequently studied Fine Art at the Institute for Art and Restoration in Florence, Italy and is also a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

His use of video, sound and light is utilised to extend the scope of engagement, as well as to encourage debate on the relationship between the sacred and secular. In a context of evolution and sacred art, he negotiates the relationship between science and spirituality through the use of ceramic material to embody biological notions in a sculptural form.

Chaos Contained & Impermanent and Everlasting

Rago’s solo show ‘Chaos Contained’ is an intriguing multi-sensory experience, showing at the National Centre for Craft & Design . Brand new large scale ceramic works were created, integrating other media such as digital sound and projection imagery, which are new elements to his practice. Ideas from life science, evolution, anthropology and sacred art are linked together, and leave the spectators open to decide what the work might be. His work reaches the edge of what is technically possible in ceramics, and it is often breathtakingly delicate.

The Impermanent and Everlasting installation from Chaos Contained specifically focuses on the fragmentation of knowledge, since the philosophical revolution of the Enlightenment, by bringing together evolutionary theory and sacred art in a deliberate strategy to encourage debate on notions of the sacred and secular, and the human need to mythologize.

Constant state of flux

After the exploration of Enlightenment and Darwin ideas as well as quantum theory, society has been undergoing an existential revolution. The relationship with the world is changing faster than ever before and at a universal level.

However, there is always renewal and new energy throughout such processes. For Alexis Rago, to embrace such a renewal is to form a personal revolution as one way of coming closer to a world from which one all too often feels separated.

‘Revolution, rotation, cycles, change, renewal, disruption, symmetry, chaos, order, establishment, stability, balance, equilibrium, precariousness, evolution.  These ideas are in a constant state of flux as they feed into my work in material and conceptual ways.’ Alexis Rago

A twin piece to the one installed at Frequency Festival will be on view amongst other works at Alexis Rago’s solo show ‘Chaos Contained’ at the National Centre for Craft and Design, 8 September – 17 November.

Other activities related to the show will also include interactive activities, workshops and objects to allow visitors to engage with the conceptual and practical skills that are employed by the artist.

For more information about the artist:

More information about the exhibition:

Tune in to Alexis news:

Follow him: @alexisrago



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