The importance of collaboration: Ram Vafa x Bertie Sampson

The importance of collaboration: Ram Vafa x Bertie Sampson

Thursday, 16th February marked the opening of Ram Vafa’s first exhibition presented and curated by The Earth Issue. Vafa is an artist born and raised on the south coast of England, driven by a lifelong passion for art with a background in textile and fashion design. Trusting his own fascinations, obsessions and compulsions, he creates large-scale artworks filled with movement and colour, unleashing the innermost energies of life itself.

His paintings blended organically with the settings of The Earth Issue’s project space, Tea Leaf London, inviting the viewer to experience his lucid transformations of the innate truths of his surroundings and experiences into physical creations. Walking around the space, each creation by Vafa evokes a different sensory experience, as well as allowing the viewer to contemplate their own emotional consciousness towards the works of art.

Unlike most exhibitions, which seek to only showcase the artist’s individuality, Vafa’s opening night was focused on the power of collaboration (between Vafa himself and light artist Bertie Sampson) and the importance of sharing and vulnerability in art. The Earth Issue collective was founded on the idea that collaborations turn artistic statements into invitations to everyone, to feed into the intention of collective action and inspire social change through human connection. As part of our collective, we proudly present exhibitions that are built on the foundations of collaboration.

Vafa’s already enigmatic, ethereal and mesmeric paintings came to life through the projection mapping done by artist Bertie Sampson; bringing together light and fluidity and allowing two different aspects of one single creative outlet to emphasise each other.

Descending down the spiral staircase into the darkness of the curated space, one’s eyes are instantly drawn to the incandescent art piece at the back of the room. Moving closer, it crystallizes into a beautifully fluid painting that is projected with lights, constantly fading and then reappearing across the entire piece. The lights have been mapped onto the painting in order for each paint stroke to guide the lights with them, back and forth and back again, like a river meandering into a moonlit ocean. The lights and the vibrant colours of the painting seem to exist symbiotically; complementing the lights and the lights in turn emphasizing different parts of the painting as it travels across it. A truly beautiful concept that could only have been born through the merging of two different entities and two different creative approaches.

Bertie Sampson works with light, motion, reaction and interaction. From large-scale projection mapping and lighting spectacles to interactive installations and immersive environments; he produces engaging works that challenge the viewer’s perception.

In a world predominantly ruled by narcissistic values, it is crucial and, above all a blessing, to be a witness to the power of collaboration and collective action. There is a new found wealth in allowing yourself to surrender your artistic work in order for another artist to pour new meaning into it, to elevate it and once again make that piece of art part of the creative process.

Vafa’s show is open to the public from February 17 until March 26.
Tea Leaf London,
65 Roman Road, 
E2 0QN.

Written by Elena Cremona

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