Nicholas Keyse: Overshadow

CoCA in collaboration with Salt Lane Studios, is proud to present Nicholas Keyse's Overshadow in our Lux Gallery.

Nicholas Keyse's practice pushes the boundaries of graphics technology to create unique results.

Nicholas Keyse’s practice pushes the boundaries of graphic technology to create unique results. Combining his interest in visual anomalies, mathematics and graphic design, Keyse creates abstract pattern and scenes that gradually reveal themselves when viewed from various distances. Meddling with the comprehension of reality drives the artist’s thought experiments and while each work pursues a high contrast monochromatic final image, the result is often unpredictable.

Overshadow presents a series of works which communicate a sense of crossroads. As if pushing through dense sub-alpine wilderness - where Keyse draws his imagery from - each work presents a view that appears somewhat obstructed. Layer upon layer of foliage makes it impossible to determine which path to take through the work. While initially indiscernible, the pathways within Keyse’s works - as in the wilderness - reveal themselves only once the viewer has determined which routes are out of reach. 

Keyse’s work combines photography, a custom-built digital programme and a handmade drawing machine to create each drawing. The artist inputs his photographs into the digital programme which then embarks on a journey through the image; tracing the shape of the trees, the foliage, the light and the shadows. This vectored lines culminate into a scene much like the collection of light rays captured by a camera; the more the lines overlap the more light it becomes. This journey is then read by a handmade drawing machine which creates each work from at least 48 hours of uninterrupted drawing.



Nicholas Keyse is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Design BOD after completing the Visual Communications course in 2004. Keyse’s practice predominantly involves pushing the boundaries of graphics technology to create unique results. Drawing inspiration from New Zealand’s Alpine forests, Keyse endeavours to communicate the feelings he experiences when travelling through these unique environments.