There is something about black and white images – particularly those taken within Second Life, for some reason – that I find particularly evocative.
Whilst colour images, carefully pre- or post-processed, hold a depth of attraction and speak clearly to the artistic talent of the photographer-artist responsible for their creation, monochrome images – even through they have likely been subjected to a similar level of pre- or post-processing – just seem to retain a degree of natural depth to them I am drawn to. So much so, that I’ve honestly played with the idea of using black-and-white illustrations in my travelogue blog posts.
The richness of depth and narrative was brought home to me again while visiting the Kondor Art Centre, curated by Hermes Kondor, and specifically The Art of Black & White by Rachel Magic (LarisaLyn), which can be found throughout May at the Kondor White Gallery.
Rachel states of herself that she doesn’t like to lock herself into one visual style, and anyone who has witnessed her work will know this in the case. But there are two constants to her work: a richness of expression and a depth of story. All of this is true within the two floors of the gallery space hosting this exhibition.
The lower floor focuses on landscapes captured from around Second Life. These offer unique views of their settings, be it through focus or techniques such as over-exposure / strength of contrast. These approaches present extracts of stories that our imaginations are invited to fill out – what lies at the end of the road; where are the owners of the bicycles – are they at work, relaxing on a beach beyond at the fence; who might be riding on the train caught through an archway…?
On the upper floor, Rachel presents a collection of monochrome avatar studies that, by their nature, paint a broader story, each one complete in it framing, angle and focus. These are all completely captivating, although I admit that Sweet Child of Mine, tucked into a corner – one of four smaller sized images in this collection.
A further attraction of The Art of Black and White is a single artist presenting a split of landscape and avatar studies in a single exhibition when the “norm” among artists is to lean far more towards a focusing on one or the other rather than offering both in equal balance.
Enticing and engaging, The Art of Black and White will run through May and is well worth visiting.
- Kondor White Gallery (Waka, rated Moderate)