This post was first published by Gyal In A Gallery and reposted with kind permission on Bajan Art.
The New Old Haunts
Go back to a place often enough and you start to get a feel for it. This was my third time visiting the Artsplash Gallery, and I had a vague idea of what to expect: a vibrant art show hung in a cozy space. And I was not disappointed when I saw Artisanal Rhythms this past Saturday.
Artisanal Rhythms at Artsplash
Curated by Lois Crawford, Artisanal Rhythms featured several vibrant abstract or non-representational pieces. Colour popped off the walls. Intricate lines swirled and reformed. Several tiny shapes merged with other shapes to create elegant patterns. But then I suppose that’s what you get when 11 artists aim to depict something like a rhythm. Overall, this made for a fun and energetic show that was just a little out of the ordinary.
A Flash of Wings
Shane Eastmond’s piece “Kaleidoscope” immediately caught my attention. At 30 x 30 inches, it wasn’t the largest piece there, but it was one of the most fascinating. At first it looked like an abstract set of patterns on canvas. Then I realised it was actually a hummingbird in the centre, with wing patterns splintering and whirling around it.
Eastmond’s piece “The Meeting”did much the same thing: seven hummingbirds interacted against a background of wing patterns. I found myself tracking the patterns through the piece, trying to figure out where exactly they went. The pieces’ clean black lines emphasised the patterns formed by the turquoise, purple and gold palette. They both reminded me of my time working in a stained glass shop—the technique and painting elevated the ordinary into something almost mythical.
The Multitudes of Colours
Cheryl Hutchinson also captured vibrant abstracts, though she used a camera to do it. Her pieces “Kadooment”, “Behind the Veil”, and “Bead Me Up Scotty” (such a nerdy title!) practically jumped off the walls. Their eye-searingly bright fuchsias, oranges, and yellows demanded attention. And once I got past the bright colours, I admired the tiny details she captured.
Some pieces chose to take the Rhythms part of the title a little more literally. Amanda Thompson’s “Rhythmic Colour” and Dancers Series both featured the vague shapes of dancers, as did Cher Antoinette’s “Spirit of the Dance.” They all captured the joy of dancing.
The Joy of Shapes
Even some of the three-dimensional works seemed directly inspired by the title. I particularly liked Lois Crawford’s “Rhythmic Spire” a tall spire covered with swirls and patterns. My only problem was that I couldn’t walk around it. All the dimensional work sat neatly against the wall, which is a good way to stop them from getting tripped on, but a bad way for someone to admire them from all angles.
The Odd Ones Out
I did find that a few pieces in the show seemed to be a little out of place. When my eye wandered over to “Fake by Mace”, I paused. It looked very familiar—and no wonder. Its subtitle “Wayne Thiebaud Cakes” clues you into the fact that this is a study of the “Folsom Street Fair Cakes” painting by Los Angeles artist Wayne Thiebaud. It’s a bright and cheeky study, but doesn’t quite capture the luscious paint texture of the original. And it didn’t quite seem to fit with the rest of the show.
Similarly, though I admired the skill in Martina Pilé-Zahles’ “Two Person Coffee Set”, it didn’t quite seem to mesh with everything else. It was certainly artisanal, but when taken with everything else in the show, it felt like something from a different story.
Verdict on Artisanal Rhythms
Overall, though, I found Artisanal Rhythms to be a fun collection of mostly abstract art. None of it is particularly dark or thought-provoking, but that’s not what I generally expect from a show at the Artsplash Gallery. It was an enjoyable day out.
Artisanal Rhythms will be at Artsplash Gallery from July 28 to September 5, 2017.