Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
These opening words from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, a prose poem possessed of a mythical history of its own, are the thematic foundation upon which Joslyn Benson (Jolivea Tyran) for her exhibition at Dathúil Gallery, which is open now, and runs through until the end of September 2016.
All Is Quiet Now presents eighteen avatar studies, all but one of which are monochrome in nature. Many of these are nude, so may not be suitable for viewing at work. All are finely nuanced pieces, subtle in form and tone, powerful in emotional expression.
“Silence: the absence of sound; silence: the placidity of mind; silence: the sense of being,” Joslyn says of the collection, “Moments of stillness where all that’s left is our own thoughts … and to find comfort in unspoken words.” it’s a beautiful summation of a series of pieces which perfectly frame the power of silence and expression to convey so much, whether we are with a loved one or friend, or caught in a moment of personal reflection or thought.
I frequently refer to narratives and stories when reviewing art; it is something I tend to seek, as it often has as much influence on my response it a piece as either my admiration of the artist’s skill (which, particularly in reference to the artists invited to display at Dathúil, tends to be considerable), or the initial emotional response I feel towards it. With All Is Now Quiet, I found this idea of narrative given additional depth in some of the studies offered.
On the one hand, there is the story we immediately perceive in looking on them for the first time. But on returning to these particular images, a second narrative is so often suggested. Take Once Was, for example, or The Way We Were. Each is suggestive, by title and pose, of regret or sadness; the apparent loss of something between two people. But look away, spend time with the other studies and then return. You many find each of these pieces now suggests something else: rather than regret or sadness, they represent a moment of pause as those depicted within them reflect on their love for one another and what the other person means to them.
Suddenly, we are witnessing not the recognition of something lost, but of something which still very much alive between the subjects of these pieces; with comes the suggestion that. shortly after the image was captured it is acknowledged as figures come together once more in a kiss or a warm embrace. With other images, the shift in narrative comes when we alter our own perspective from that of observer of an image in a gallery, to that of participant in the scene depicted. All of which make these studies, as noted, marvellously nuanced in tone and subject.
Once again, Lucy and Max have brought another extraordinary talent to Dathúil. All Is Quiet Now is an exquisite collection of images, which are individually compelling as well as perfectly evoking the emotional power of silence. Stunning.
- Dathúil Gallery (Rated: Adult)