Kinly Grey

death dreams desire

14 August - 4 September 2021

This body of work is initiated in intuition, dreams, and memory. It experiments with art as a tool to aid existential inquiry. As an exhibition, it explores installation’s capacity to create spaces of contemplation.


In death, the neon’s diameter is the length I was at birth, as such, this work was initially developed as a portrait of myself in childhood, a reconciliation of my fraught relationship with my past and my body as a trans person. In considering the body as the parameter of existence, the work is influenced by Roman poet, Lucretius, who framed death as merely the dissolution of a temporary combination of atoms. The reflective yet void-like body of water beneath the neon acts formally like a window to the “other side”. In this way, the dissolution of the reflected circle symbolises a materialist return to the cosmic soup, to see death as a return to unknown and infinite possibilities, a liberation from birth, which renders us into a fixed medium of experience (the body). 


dreams is inspired by a dream I had in which I learnt to not fear death. I was in a large bowl filled with glowing dots, above me a sky mirrored the same so that I lost all sense of direction. Eventually I lost all sense of self and became part of the landscape. It was immensely peaceful. With visual similarities to an areal view of a city at night, stars and galaxies, and glowing plankton along a beach, ‘dreams’ is a landscape that retains an ambiguous scale. In shifting the sand, the audience imprint themselves in the landscape. 


Inspired by Gabriel’s horn, desire symbolises a meeting place of the divine and the finite. The equal sized “bell” ends of the sculpture are construed in their shadows, one eclipsing the other, while the tiniest dents and curves of the brass surface extrapolate into majestic rings. Combining tradition with cosmology, this work frames desire as the common denominator in the pursuit of meaning.