The Approach opens an exhibition of works by Kira Freije
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The Approach opens an exhibition of works by Kira Freije
Kira Freije b. 1985. Moving towards the calm one, whose arms open, the breadth of happiness in measurable form, 2021, Stainless steel, cast aluminium, 166 x 67 x 85 cm. 65 11/32 x 26 3/8 x 33 15/32 in.

LONDON.- Metallic debris fallen from space, shooting stars that meet with the earth: meteorites are the solid formations of rock, metal, and minerals that have successfully made their way through the atmosphere embodying violence, destruction, explosions, and irreversible transformation.

Like a cluster of meteorites descended from above, Kira Freije’s sculptural assemblages scatter throughout the gallery; they are fragments of poetry in physical form evoking familiar yet uneasy feelings that sway between joy and fear.

Freije’s sculptures inhabit a quasi-religious quality: figures express humility, capturing an idea of mankind in reverence to nature or the preternatural, while other objects either appear as tools or as symbols of nature itself. A tall streetlamp – river by night – looms gently over the other works, its ambient blue glow like a drop of moonlight reflecting off the surface of a city canal. Carousel gestures towards an interior lamp, a functional and sympathetic accompaniment to a reading chair or a bedside. Similarly in the way of the wind is both domestic in scale and feel, yet has the monumentality of an appendage from the Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile candlelight emanates from goodness and fury, reminiscent of medieval metalwork, the main body of the sculptures are shaped like a shield or a coat of arms. Freije employs the symbol of the shield or shade in many of her works throughout the exhibition, acting like protective visors from the potential of something dangerous showering down from above.

Forms oscillate between the figurative and seemingly functional. Lamps – wandering voices; Butterfly; Autumn dusk – hang from the ceiling emanating an atmospheric and harmonious glow; fanned sheets of stainless steel encircle a benevolent meteoritic face in forward forward dividing shadows; whilst bodies built from cast aluminium and warped stainless steel take on various postures. A priestess figure – permanence of a sacred tongue – kneels, hands raised supine to the heavens above; a more defeated, or perhaps devotional, figure – dipping voices, on the side of sun ­– half reclines on the floor, head down, bodyweight propped up by a hand, a sun-weathered shawl draped across its shoulders. The absurd half-human, half-parasol work, the sudden sleep, embodies a kind of retro-futurism, proposing an idea of how we might evolve to combat the earth’s increasingly scorching temperatures. A couple – fireworks – with arms lovingly entwined, stare from a window onto the world outside. Whilst the couple encapsulate an image of support, interdependency and safety, their hollow gaze suggests something more ominous. In this work, and throughout the exhibition, Freije succinctly evokes the contradiction that has plagued humanity since its inception: that even under the constant and imminent threat of annihilation and apocalypse, we seek love and companionship above all.

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