‘The other side of you and me’ quite ironically did unleash another side of me as I explored the seductively playful den of surprising colours and shapes, encouraging the inner child in me to want to know what everything was. Tempting me to touch and explore, teasing me with a multitude of sensory experiences that fused together to form a magical playground.

The act of observing the sculptures is like a game in itself, guessing what the different and odd materials combined are and what they may resemble. The materials in themselves are also very playful, for example: foil and reflective surfaces mixed with rock-like materials and brightly coloured papers provoking the urge to crumple and twist the materials even further. The tactile elements of the work continue throughout the whole exhibition, some being placed quite high out of reach, again, tantalising with the fact that they can’t fulfil their desire to physically touch the works, reminding us of the boundaries of the viewer and the artwork.

These playground urges to interact particularly captured me on encountering the copper frame sculptures, Alibi and Innenhof, on which rest smaller components, such as a steel hoop and a neon plane of green plexiglass. These immediately reminded me of climbing frames, with the small elements even more of a temptation in that they were ever so delicately balanced. In Déjà Vu, glass shelving, also within a geometric frame, houses various small objects, evoking the playfulness of an ice cream cone or a lava lamp. Transgressively pleasing, we feel we shouldn’t be in such close proximity to these fragile sculptures on their equally fragile glass shelving, when what we really want to do is grab the objects and play with them.

One piece in particular evokes this feeling, where a small sculpture teeters on the brink of falling from the edge of a neon pink plastic panel of plexiglass. There’s something about this overriding feeling of tension and incident within the exhibition that really brings the space to life. For example, the photographic works, Les secrets de Jeanne #1 and #2 with collaged bubbly bead material, seem to be moving and growing in front of our eyes.

In Alibi, the bright orange ceramic panel balanced against a wall echoes the purple panel on the ceiling increasing the immersive experience and forming a playful surprise in that some viewers may not have even spotted the ceiling panels. This takes me back to the initial impression of the work being like a game, one that we work out as we explore. This is the key to the admiration I have for Le Ruez’s work: he manages to provoke and excite a child-like joy whilst at the same time creating an elegant sense of refinement and poise.

Michaela Hall is a painter and writer and at the time of writing is studying for a BA Hons Fine Art degree at Newcastle University.