Currently open at the Janus Gallery II at Sinful Retreat, Chuck Clip’s superb arts centre, is Simply Nature by Duna Gant. As the artist notes, this is something of a continuation of an earlier exhibition from around two years ago, entitled Poetic Lines, in that it furthers the minimalist theme started in that exhibition, turning the direction fully onto to nature. Thus, the twelve pieces offered at Janus Gallery II capture the elegant beauty of nature, as reflected in so many ways by creations within Second Life, in a marvellously minimalist style that have woven into them a central thematic thread of the interplay of light and water within nature’s realm.
This interplay is perhaps most directly expressed within the sculpture by Duna that spans the entrance to the gallery, itself called Light and Water. As well as offering an anchor for the surrounding images, this sculpture also personifies Duna’s central inspiration for her Second Life photography.
Given this, it should come as no surprise that several of the pieces offers images of the water and the sky, each of which is lightly rendered, both in terms of palette and touch; naturally drawing the eye to the further details within each piece, or which express the natural beauty waiting to be found within the sky itself or upon the ripples of water.
I have looked for those elements that, isolated from everything superfluous that surrounds them, represent by themselves a concept, a poetic line, that invites the viewer to open a door that leads them to interpret the image for themselves beyond what it represents.
– Duna Gant
These are images that are almost haunting in their vacant expanse; they naturally draw the eye into them and invite the mind to frame a narrative around them. From Always with its slowly rising (or setting) Moon, through to Loneliness – to offer a minimal sense of progress around the images from lower floor to upper – there is a palpable sense of life, place and wonder, of emotion and thought, that leads the visitor onward from one image to the next, the story forming and re-forming almost prism-like as each new image is encountered. This sense of story is in some respects enhanced by the gallery itself: the dark walls and hidden entrance leaving the visitor with no distraction from the subtle, soft richness of the images.
Through her use of muted tones, minimal colour and both framing and blurring, Duna presents 12 pieces that speak to the beauty of nature, the way in which it can use the simplest of forms over and again, never repeating but also never really changing, to offer something uniquely beautiful, be it the spread of a tree against the sky or the sea, the roundness of a hill or sand dune, or the sense of escape and freedom evoked by the rolls and curls of clouds – a sense further and quite fabulously embodied by the flock of birds to be found in Get Away.
An outstanding exhibition, Simply Nature speaks from and to the heart.
- Janus Gallery II (Sinful Retreat, rated: Adult)