Currently open at the Itakos Project Art Gallery, curated by Akim Alonzo, is Golden: A Journey into the Art of a Dreamer, featuring the work of Paola Mills.
Spread across the two levels of the gallery are some 29 exquisite avatar studies that incorporate a range of themes, and are linked by the fact that each one forms a single frame story.
From fantasy to what might be considered beauty shots and going by way of touches of sci-fi, horror, edges of transhumanism, and even a homage to a classic film (Hitchcock’s classic North by Northwest (see:Follow the Ageless Tide), these are all stunning pieces. Many carry a degree of subtext through title to further drive their story, although equally, a fair number are untitled – but they still speak clearly to those who study them.
This is because all of the pieces offered here, produced in both colour and monochrome, are marvellously crafted, rich in detail and composition. Within them are to be found stories centred on a range of subjects: identity, love, life, sexuality, emotions, loneliness, memory and more.
As well as the individual images mounted on the gallery walls, Akim has included an animated slide show system that pages through copies of all of Paola’s pieces in the exhibition. It’s an approach that will a new feature with exhibits at the gallery. Here, with its smooth, gentle animations and cross-fades, the slide show brings together the images in such a way that the transitions from one to the next presents a feeling of shifting dreams in keeping with the sub-title of the exbition. Further, several times during the show, the transition from one image to the next naturally suggests a broader story spanning the art than might be found when viewing in the individual images around the walls.
It is really hard to write about this exhibition, as the pieces are so rich in narrative that they really should be seen first-hand, rather then through the intervening eyes of and thoughts of another. Nor are they pieces to be simply seen; they deserve to be given the time to speak and tell their stories. As such, I strongly suggest paying a visit through the month the exhibition will be available.
- The Itakos Project: Golden: A Journey into the Art of a Dreamer (ATL, rated Moderate)