Intimate Space

The Forest Café: Run Ended

Intimate Space is an innovative exhibition, displaying the photography of three third year ECA students. The three photographers have greatly varying interpretations of ‘intimate space;’ from the very literal to the allegorical and figurative.

Craig Waddell’s photographs of carefully chosen spaces within his recently bereaved grandparents’ houses are extremely moving. He shows the most skill of all the photographers in terms of thoughtful use of light and angle in the photographs. The idiosyncrasy of the everyday domestic environment, in conjunction with the personal, intimate nature of the objects conveys a strong sense of the cherished memories that define these spaces.    

Hayley McMann’s work is the most conceptual and abstract in terms of conveying the idea of ‘intimate spaces.’ She focuses on hospital waiting rooms and the intention behind their layout, of creating an intimate environment for people of all ages and backgrounds to deal with the often profound and difficult emotions experienced in the hospital waiting room. The placement of specific objects such as pictures hanging on the walls, magazines and toys for children is notable in these photographs. At first somewhat two-dimensional and lacking in the use of the diverse angles utilised by Craig Waddell, the photographs are in fact probably the most raw and abundantly truthful of all three selections.   

The use of neon, fluorescent colour in contrast with dark shades, as well as sharp silhouettes and shapes is striking in Paulina Janik’s work, displaying representations of dreams. These photographs are powerful, and express an unexpected interpretation of the ‘intimate’. However, of all three photographers’ work, it is these photos that would perhaps be more effective if they were displayed in a larger size.

The exhibition space could be utilised more effectively, with perhaps more distinction between the displays of the work of each artist and more indication of which photographs are the work of which photographer. Regardless, the ideas expressed within the exhibition are highly original and thought-provoking, and definitively bring new meaning to the words ‘intimate space’.

Image: Craig Waddel

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