Be Still

Thursday, 16 February 2012

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

be still

‘Be Still’ is a series of ‘traces’ that testify to the things and people we have lost. Via a combination of old and new photographic technology, the artist Sundari Carmody captures intimacy through a poetic absence, signified by empty spaces and ghostly figures. These haunting figures of loss and transience created through the unpredictable art of pinhole and polaroid photography symbolise the imperfect nature of our memories and the desire to hold onto mementos of mortality that would otherwise be lost. Carmody’s photographs are born from Sontag’s elegiac art, in which the photographic image participates in a process of capturing and signifying absence, becoming part of individual and collective memories.

-Hila Shachar

Yep, I've just quoted and referenced myself there. I attended the opening for Sundari Carmody's Perth exhibition last night, for which I wrote the catalogue essay. I feel very honoured that Sundari asked me to write this essay for her. It's such a startling experience to see photographs displayed on the clean canvas of a white wall. While I love blogs, nothing can beat the sensory experience of viewing photographs in person. I think we sometimes forget that in our endless blog surfing and Pinterest pinning, I know I do. Which is why I think it's always worthwhile to make an effort to step away from the rampant consumption of images online and go to an actual gallery or exhibition to appreciate them in a different way. The title of Sundari's exhibition, ‘Be Still’, reminds me of that; of the importance of standing still, and allowing an image to say all it has to say to you, rather than quickly clicking from one image to the next.

It was also great to finally meet Sundari in person. Although we've been friends online for quite some time, last night was the first time we met. Sundari is as lovely in person as she is on her blog. You may remember I featured some of her photographs on my own blog in two of my book reviews. Thanks for the invitation Sundari, I had a great time. And here's to more blog friends meeting in person - I wish I could meet you all.

Last night was the opening for ‘Be Still’, but the exhibition will be on for another two weeks, so if you're in Perth, go see it. Here are the details:

Be Still
Opening Wednesday 15 Feb at 6pm
Exhibition open 16 February - 2 March

Spectrum Project Space
Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street
Mount Lawley
Building 3, Room 3.191

Sundari also has a project blog accompanying this exhibition.

Image credits: All images taken by me at the opening night.


Stephanie said...

I love photography exhibits. This is looks amazing!

rooth said...

I love to hear about how blog relationships have blossomed - yours and Sundari's is a perfect example of what the blogosphere is for. Perfect, just perfect

Petra said...

looks like a great exhibition. I miss seeing art in real life. since I left London I have mainly lived online. thank God my voluntary exil is nearing its end.

would love to see this exhibition, but I'm afraid it's a bit far ;)

Kate said...

I agree that nothing compares to the live experience of a photo, a painting, a sculpture - music. That tiny online square is like eating with no tastebuds. Being in a room with other people experiencing the same thing is invaluable. This experience sounds great.

B said...

The photography looks quite beautiful and mysterious.

Jane Flanagan said...

I wish I could meet you too!

I had a jarring real versus blog world last fall. It's a more material story, but I visited the Toast store on vacation and realized all the pieces I thought I loved online were not the ones I chose in person.

It's good to have these little reminders that while the web is great, the full sensory experience of direct experience is unbeatable. I'm so glad you got to do this and I love what you wrote too.

megan said...

lovely photographs, hila!

Hotly Spiced said...

I love the first image - how magical is that! Congrats on writing for Be Still. What an honour. And yes, it is great to get away from our virtual world and actually go see something physically!

etre-soi said...

they really speak to me and your words are perfect as always my dear Hila. Congratulations on this.

sacramento said...

Wonderful and inspiring photos.
Have a grand weekend.

Sasha said...

I have a feeling that were I able to attend this exhibition I'd be seriously hard pressed to leave. There's nothing like being still before art. You're absolutely right that it's easy to forget the importance of such a thing in this fast paced and digital world.

My appreciation for art has doubled in the mere month I've had my first art history class. Being able to take the time to really SEE the image is invaluable. (Of course seeing things in person only adds to it!)

Cosmic Sunshine said...

As I live in England I won't be able to see Sundari's exhibit in person but so appreciate what you have done by giving me some glimpses of it. The internet has allowed new friendships to flourish and mine with Sharon, Sundari's grandmother, is an example. We met online 15 years ago and have grown close over the years - not through blogs but through email. And we even met in person when she came to visit me in England from Australia. Thank you for all you do, Hila, and if you ever come to England, I would enjoy showing you Leeds!

Sundari said...

Thank you, Hila. :)

Hila said...

Stephanie: It was amazing!

Rooth: Yep, I agree, that's why I love blogging.

Petra: Yes, just a teeny bit too far :)

Kate: That's why I love visiting museums and galleries too.

B: And it's even better in person.

Jane: Thanks Jane! I'd love to meet you too. Maybe one day I'll visit Canada, it is on my list of places to travel. I had a similar experience with a clothes store. It's strange how certain pieces look so different online versus seeing them in person.

Megan: Thank you!

Hotly Spiced: That first image was a lucky shot.

etre-soi/Sofia: Thanks so much. And congrats to you on your book cover!

Sacramento: Thank you.

Sasha: I made a few good rounds of the room, I didn't want to leave either.

Cosmic Sunshine: Thanks so much, this is so kind! If I'm ever in Leeds, I'll hunt you down :)

Sundari: My pleasure, and congrats again on such a beautiful exhibition.

Tana said...

My congratulations, Hila! the exhibition looks great!

Hila said...

Thank you Tana!

Tracey said...

Sounds and looks like a wonderful exhibition ... if only I lived a little closer, I would visit. :)

Hila said...

Tracey: It is a shame you don't live closer :)