Curatorial+ Co. is proud to unveil a vibrant and powerful new collection of works by artist Daniel O’Toole. Inspired by the colours of the natural world, the series is the artist’s response to the pressures of climate change and human survival on a warming planet, within the confines of the digital age.

Tempered Resolution runs 24 August to 3 September 2022. This body of work continues O’Toole’s Refraction painting series. The artist sets out to explore the subtle and unexpected colour results in nature, while also exploring the drama and dynamic changes that occur in natural elements when they’re placed under extreme pressure.

O’Toole explains ‘I was thinking about how nature creates colours in a myriad of ways, at unexpected times, and in the most unusual places. I was also reflecting on the heating of our planet and its destruction on the natural world. This exhibition reflects the chaos and calm in contemporary life, and the effects of heat on our changing climate. The current state of the world is overwhelming, and perhaps it always has been, in different ways for various generations.’

O’Toole explains ‘With this in mind, I began experimenting with the heat treatment of metals. Curious about the outcome, I wanted to explore by tempering mild steel. The results were as I’d expected in terms of the colour hues, but I was surprised by the vibrant shapes and nuanced gradients that emerged, which ultimately became more of a focus of the works than the colour results themselves.’

The artist says the series also considers the impact of the digital age on shifts in the natural world. ‘Technology is also becoming rapidly embroiled with biology and human habit. Our need for a considered and compassionate relationship with nature, is more urgent than ever. This series reflects on this idea, while aiming to evoke a range of moods that speak to both the calm, and dramatic aspects of our changing environment. It’s a meditation on the alchemy of change.’

An accomplished musician, O’Toole plays the violin and the flute. Sound and colour are an inherent part of his practice: O’Toole experienced synaesthesia at a young age. While learning music as a child, his mother noticed he identified notes as colours. The condition continues to inform his work and he leans into that miscommunication of the senses as an ongoing theme in his practice.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an album of musical compositions to reflect the artwork mood and subject matter. By removing the viewer from outside distractions, the specific harmonies and sounds further intensify the exhibition’s themes of alchemic change, and the power of nature to create both beauty and destruction. Gallery visitors are invited to bring their headphones and stay a while to listen to the accompanying soundtrack.

Daniel’s work stands out also because of his play on alchemy and science, and the colour play of the everyday world around us.

According to Curatorial+Co. Founder Sophie Vander, it is this sense of materiality that first drew her to the artist’s work. ‘Daniel’s work stands out also because of his play on alchemy and science, and the colour play of the everyday world around us. But I was also captivated by Daniel’s incredible use of materials and the inherent ambiguity in his work. That uncertainty draws you in, questioning the work and its intention. The effect is both compelling and unnerving: the viewer’s eye is never resting but inexplicably held. His work has the ability to spark a childlike curiosity and sense of wonder in the connection between an artwork and its viewer.’

The new series at Curatorial+Co gallery comprises 14 works on canvas and aluminium, and sculptural wall works, plus a selection of video and sound works on show. Several works have been created using a dye sublimation technique: a printing process which uses heat to transfer ink onto and into a sheet of aluminium, intensifying the colour palette.

The artist also plays with the traditional methods of painting. With a background as a renowned street artist, O’Toole prefers to use aerosol paint, air brush and spray guns to remove the gesture. This creative process creates an intensity of colour and light in his artworks, which is becoming a hallmark of the artist’s practice.

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