Known for her fascination with colour and composition, Sinta Tantra’s work is a playful experiment in both scale and dimension. After a decade of making public art, her work now ranges from small painted canvases to huge architectural installations; bold, tropical colour to a Calder-like minimalism. Her work occupies a space at the intersection between painting and architecture, striking a fine balance between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, decorative and functional, public and private.
Your Private Sky (27 July – 1 September 2018) at Kristin Hjellegjerde London, Tantra’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, draws inspiration from the life and work of the seminal American architect and polymath Buckminster Fuller, exploring the systems of making that connect the imaginative to the everyday. Your Private Sky was the title of a 1948 manuscript in which Fuller outlined his visionary design for a glass geodesic structure – a structure that both projects and reflects, illuminating the viewer’s position in relation to the cosmos, and affording a global perspective on questions of common progress.
“The idea of ‘your private sky’ expresses a twofold experience”, says Tantra, “a mode of thought that is both collective and individual. Blue-sky thinking, where visionary ideas can grow from simple musings”. If Tantra’s practice began with an impulse to turn the white cube space inside-out, then Your Private Sky represents a reverse move: bringing the lessons from public art back into the gallery space: turning ‘outside-in’, projecting and reflecting in on itself.
“Whereas my previous works used colour to celebrate the spectacle, I recently started thinking about what would happen if colour was taken out of the equation,” she says. “After studying the blueprint designs used in preparation for my public art projects, I became fascinated by line, and how at times it offered more imaginative possibilities than colour. Can total immersion be achieved through the simplicity of line alone? How does this relational experience alter the way we see and imagine?”
As such, the works in Your Private Sky will be divided in two distinct ‘rooms’ within the gallery space: the first, focusing on a pared down, minimalist experience of linen paintings and sculptures based on line drawing, systems and processes. The second, moving into the maximalist: colour paintings and a submersive floor installation.
For Tantra, the link between all these works is the metaphor of the blueprint. Like Fuller’s utopian designs, Your Private Sky presents the blueprint both as an instructive diagram, and as an index of imaginative possibilities.