Currently open at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner through until October 25th, 2021, is Shades of Eo, a selection of art by Eoleon Elcano. Spread across the two levels of the exhibition space, it is a themed display of art focused on the the seasons of autumn and winter and the days, rich in golden hues or cossetted by white blankets of snow or cast in the greys that we so often associated with either season.
Within the space, the lower display area is given over to autumn. The floor of the hall is textured in grass topped by a patina-like spread of fallen leaves, whilst corner trees carry browned leaves and share their space with pumpkins to further help slip the mind and eye into an autumnal frame. The images themselves are rich in that aforementioned golden brown hue reflective of the time of month, although one or two could perhaps topple into the days of a late summer, depending on one’s personal take.
Reached via individual stairways but adjoining one another are the upper halls of the exhibition space, each offering individual collections of Eo’s art. One is devoted to the winter months, five of the images rendered in soft tones and colours we tend to associate with the winter months: white, grey, blue; they sit within a hall in which snow falls to blanket the floor. Primarily landscapes, these five images are dominated by a sixth that spans one entire length of wall in a panoramic format I have not seen since Ziki Questi ceased exhibiting in Second Life. It is a genuinely magnificent piece entitled Winter Melodies, which carries with it a greater warmth of colour courtesy of a lowering Sun that forms something of a visual bridge between this hall and the autumnal display below.
All of the pieces across these two halls evocatively denote the time of year they represent. Each is individually styled through technique (such as the considered use of vignettes in some) and finish to evoke an emotional response in keeping with that time of year. Each carries within in a single-frame story as they catch a moment in time, a story to which we can also relate. But there is also something more within them as well; whilst the theme of this collection may well be that of the seasons and their shades, so too might they be said to carry hints of Eo herself, something hinted through the exhibition’s title.
Eo describes herself as “socially incompatible”, a term that suggests she is perhaps more comfortable with her own company or that of very close friends she has come to trust over the passage of time rather than with broader acquaintances; yet at the same time, there is perhaps that desire that comes upon us all at times to be freer in the company of others – or at least with someone we can regard as particular special. This sense of separation of self from others and the associated longing might be found within several of the images within both the “autumn” and “winter” halls of the exhibition.
Holding You, for example appears to be celebrating the autumnal (and often solo) pursuit of kite-flying, it also suggests that yearning to have someone close, but being unable to bridge that last (self-imposed?) gap that forces separation. On the neighbouring wall, A Symphony of Solitude, we have a story of someone both at home within her solitude as she walks a sandy shore as the evening draws in, and also an image – courtesy of the long shadow stretched over the sand at an angle suggestive that it is leading her – that hints at a desire to share the moment with another. Within the “winter” hall, similar subtexts might be found with both Winter Melodies and I Hold You.
However, this reflection of self really comes to the fore in the second of the upper floor halls, where eight monochrome images are to be found while are almost physically striking, they are so emotionally charged.
Given this, and if possible, I would recommend this selection of Eo’s work is viewed after the “autumn” and “winter” displays, simply because it is so rich in personal narrative (to achieve this, take the stairs closer to the eastern side of the gallery hall when moving to the upper levels). With the exception of Neverending Sakura Tales, the depth of personal feeling presented within each of these works is so beautifully mixed with their monochrome nature and composition that it is hard not to be completely captivated by each one, marking this selection very much as a exhibit in its own right.
Perfect in composition and presentation, rich in narrative and layered in interpretation / meaning, Shades of Eo is a magnificent exhibition of art and self.
- Shades of Eo, Art Korner (Deju, rated Moderate)