Laing Art Gallery
Among the oil paintings and tapestries typical of a museum gallery, the Laing Art Gallery reserves space for corresponding exhibitions of contemporary art. Set in contrast to the backdrop of historically relevant artefacts, the contemporary art comes with a sense of responsibility, and possesses the same sense of reverence.
I was particularly taken by Shift, an exhibition by Alysia Anne. This quiet exhibition invites viewers into a room that acts as a place of respect and contemplation. Ambiguous photographic works are arranged on the wall, light and tone representing oblique and obscured sentiments. The hollowness of the floor space, with limited seating, seems to suggest that the best reading for the work is an intimate encounter.
Despite suffering bereavement myself, it seemed evident that the artist was not enforcing her own estimations of grief on the viewer, but rather dispelling the notion that grief can be defined. Each image meticulously displayed on the wall felt like a portrait of some momentary emotion, rather than a photograph.
There was something here for anyone who wanted to take a moment to think about the fleetingness of life.
Black, E. (2016) "Postmortem: Alysia Anne: Shift". The Crack Magazine. Issue 332, Mar '16. p. 60.