Beyond Reckoning, a review by Elaine Brunson
Both haunting and oddly calm, Colville’s prints evoke tension and uneasiness in their swirling, shadowy depictions. A coyote, a bullseye, a landscape, a person; all shattered, sprayed apart by violent blasts of blackness, holes in their misty tan shapes. These holes make them haunting, ghostly, but the dull colors of a desert night evoke a feeling of peace.
At first glance, I did not recognize that many of these installations, self-titled “gunpowder generated,” are actually the negative images of abandoned targets Colville found at firing ranges; these negative versions are created by igniting gunpowder on the targets, which then burns the exposed paper below through holes in the targets. This process is not carried out randomly, however. Extraordinarily, Colville has learned to harness this explosive medium and create these ethereal negatives, as well as specific images including the Dark Hours Horizons set of prints which illustrate an apocalyptic, ghastly night in the desert. Although they remind me of lingering, unsettling sunsets pricked with rust, I do find them soothing, as if they transport me to their birthplace, the desert; they are certainly more restful than their bullet-based counterparts.
The target-inspired prints in particular are meant to express, as remnants, the inherently American, intense, and violent actions which created them. They are fragments, leftover memories, of anger intensified by the turmoil of the present and directed at a large array of subjects from the coyote to the man. The people as targets, in my opinion, are the most poignant and melancholy, strangely startling with gaping blasts and sprays of black where their eyes, minds, and hearts should be. To me, they each represent a bouquet of thoughts and intentions, a detailed slur of darkness before the finger pulled the trigger.
Some images are displayed individually, while others, such as the “Tight Grouping #1,” are collections of several images presented together. The images vary in size from dimensions of a few inches to a few feet. Beyond Reckoning is on exhibition at Rick Wester Fine Art Gallery from September 15– November 19, 2016.