Objects of the past are often cast off, imprisoned by the semblances of death and obscurity. Yet a relic possesses a deep and vigorous potency, which it naturally acquires in the expanse of time and memory. Barriers reverently invokes this power and transforms the past into a dynamic figure. Responding to a realized call to protect, Nikulas Lebajo summons guardians.
Reflecting on the current state of the environment and its global consumption, Lebajo materializes the urgent need to conserve. His works are fundamentally compositional but what starts as a practice of succinct form extends into a nuanced action. The figures are composed to obscure, to deny one’s sight from going further into the background. There is no visual access, ultimately no access at all. In charged silence, his jars stand resolutely to hide and to deny entry to what is precious.
The rows of earthenware bring to mind a form of mantra spoken visually and methodically. Nikulas Lebajo’s work is meditative in composition and process. He paints layer by layer in a sequence, the repetition trance-like. Stacking jar upon jar, he mutes the landscape into a focused breath, as if to wrap his hands entirely around the earth and hold it close.