Open now at Holtwaye ArtSpace are two exhibitions of art which focus on avatars.
The first, Femme, features a series of eight images by Sabbian Paine, located on in the north wing of the gallery’s ground level building.
While small in number, the images displayed are highly individual and both graphically and narratively powerful in content.
Take Swan Lake as an example (the leftmost picture in the trio at the top of this article). Here is a piece of masterful execution as the poise and elegance of the woman, the fall of her gown, the arms of her arms, presents an image strongly evocative of the stately appearance of a swan. At the same time, the black gas mask encasing her head adds a subtle twist to the image, removing her identity from view in what may seem an oppressive or menacing way whilst simultaneously enhancing her swan-like looks. Thus there is a subtle enfolding of elements here: the direct comparison with a swan, the hinting at the classic ballet and the idea of hidden secrets.
Each of the pieces offers a narrative of its own, making this a small, but highly engaging exhibit in which you may well find yourself spending far more time studying each piece than you might otherwise have expected.
Located in the skyborne gallery space (reached via the teleport sign outside of the ground level complex) is a relatively new (having opened on March 28th) exhibition of images by JJ Goodman.
On display are eighteen images, the majority of which are once again focused on avatars (although one or two are broader in nature).
Here the focus is very much on avatars going about their lives, be it a man bathing in a pool, participants in a carnival, a group of guys dancing at a 50s-style diner, and so on. Many of the images have a vibrancy both in colour and composition which give them a unique feeling of “living”. Others are beautifully posed, lit and shot as to evoke a story of their own.
In this there is something marvellously engaging in the juxtaposition of various styles displayed within the images displayed here, with the likes of Chess Girl, Duncan, and Coop’s Serenity offering that rich depth of narrative which draws one into each of the pictures – and particularly in the case of pieces like Coop’s Serenity, directly into the subject’s eyes -, which beautifully contrasts with pieces like 50’s Guys and Candy Girls, where the story is painted more in the picture as a whole, and the richness of the colours within it.
Taken together, these two exhibition present two fascinating and very different studies into avatars as art, and both are recommended visits.
- Holtwaye ArtSpace main SLurl (Rated: Adult)