I’m reporting this a little late, given that both exhibitions only have a few more days to run, but currently on display in the featured artists sections of Sisi Biedermann’s Gallery are Melusina Parkin and Zia Sophia (Zia Branner), who will be at the gallery until the end of the month, so there really is only a couple of days left in which to see them!
Melusina Parkin really needs no introduction to readers of this blog; I’m an admitted admirer of her work, which I’ve featured in these pages on numerous occasions. Within her space at Sisi’s, she offers Journeys, another utterly engaging take on Second Life, the places it offers and their innate beauty.
Melu’s eye for angle, depth, composition and detail always presents chances to see Second Life in a new way and / or light. Rather than focusing on the whole to tell a story, she discovers the part that perhaps utters only a single line: the curve and rise of a paved footpath as it winds between cresting undulations of flowers before it vanishes over a low rise; the silhouette of a lighthouse caught between the branches of a thicket as the Sun dips between the coastal hills beyond; a tree dipping branches into the sea as if testing the temperature of the water…
All these, and the rest of the images in Journeys form whisperings that are just enough for the imagination to create an entire world around them. At the same time, there is a rich impression of openness and space present within each piece that truly gives us room to breathe, to feel a sense freedom – something that in the current climate of having to stay at home and away from the rest of the world, can be refreshing and uplifting.
Zia Branner is an artist in the physical world who uses paints with acrylics and use a variety of structure material – paste, gel, sand, glue, bandages and paper – together with oil crayons and acrylic ink, to accentuate elements with her pieces. Canvas is her preferred medium, although she also uses wood and paper, and while she has had formal art teaching, she is also autodidact, learning techniques and approaches whilst experimenting with art.
For her exhibition at Sisi’s, Zia offers an impressive portfolio of her art, from sweeping landscapes that encompass coastal scenes and rolling dunes to charcoal-like sketches of flowers and more abstracted pieces that use colour and line to capture the attention and hold the eye.
There is a vitality about each of these pieces, be it as a result of the sweep, turn, and mix of colour in some or the tactile sense of texturing visible in others, that truly brings them to life, perfectly echoing Zia’s view that “making art is rebellion against the finality of mankind”.
As always, the floors of the gallery above the featured artists spaces are home to Sisi’s own remarkable and utterly captivating work. Having started painting in acrylics in the early 2000s, Sisi has developed her technique to encompass a range of styles and approaches, from painting to mix media and digital collages to Second Life photography, whilst encompassing a wide range of genres – fantasy, wildlife, portrait, landscape and so on. It is not hyperbole when I say her work is genuinely second-to-none for its sheer beauty and richness of expression.
Located just outside of the gallery is a broad glass-like spiral stairway leading up to the Artists United Gallery, were pieces by the likes of Rage Darkstone, TerraMerhyem, Nils Urqhart, Layachi Ihnen, Milly Sharple and more are offered in a richly eclectic and engaging exhibition that adds further depth to a visit to the gallery.
- Sisi Biedermann Gallery and Garden (Cailsteal Maol, rated Moderate)