Now open at The Living Room, the delightful art and music venue operated by Owl, Daallee and Nora, is a new double-header exhibition, one I’m particularly please to see take place, featuring as it does the work of sculptress CioTToLiNa Xue, who is displaying her work alongside the equally eye-catching 2D art of Thea Maiman.
Regular readers here will know of my appreciation of CioTToLiNa’s art, which I first encountered whilst visiting an exhibition of Mistro Hifeng’s work. I was immediately struck by her emerging ability to present emotive studies; so much so, that I was determined to have her display her work at my 2015 LEA installation, Impressions – and remain pleased that she accepted my invitation to so do.
Entirely self-taught, CioTToLiNa has been learning 3D and 2D techniques over the course of the last year, between intensive university studies in veterinary medicine. Extremely shy, she believes she still has a lot to learn and is hoping to further refine her skills. This may be true – creativity as always an evolving process after all; but I think it fair to say her abilities are already self-evident, as the pieces displayed at The Living Room demonstrate. For me, it’s an absolute pleasure to see more people taking an interest in her work and offering her opportunities to exhibit – long may it continue!
I am a little ashamed to admit that prior to visiting the Living Room I was nowhere near as well acquainted with Thea Maiman’s work as I am with CioTToLiNa’s – however, my visit has certainly rectified that! Thea’s work focuses on avatar studies, with those presented in this exhibition richly textured and evocative in both style and study.
Thea says of her work that she finds her inspiration in melancholy and darkness, although light and colours can also move her as well. All of these are evident in the works on display at The Living Room, where the idea of darkness can be interpreted through the use of her subject’s eyes being obscured by dark make-up or covered by a blindfold, while other images contrast this in the use of colour, whilst sometimes simultaneously conveying a sense of the subject being on their own, which pushes slightly at the idea of melancholy.
None of the above should be taken to mean the images are in any way depressing – far from it. There is a vibrancy and life within Thea’s work which contrasts strongly with her stated sources of inspiration, and which makes them a delight to see.
CioTToLiNa and Thea will remain at The Living Room through until Tuesday, February 23rd, depressing; when a closing party will be held, featuring the music of Lazarus Doghouse. And don’t forget the Thursday Music Party at The Living Room, which this month takes place on Thursday, February 18th, and features Agusto Napoli at 17:00 SLT, followed by The Vinnie Show! at 18:0 SLT.
- The Living Room (Rated: Moderate)