Self Storage

The non-profit, artist-run Embassy Gallery is known for its displays of quirky, fun artwork: the work of four young artists in this show Self Storage is no different.

The first notable aspect of the exhibition is, unfortunately, the overwhelming and headache-inducing smell of fresh paint. Aside from this, the space is quite perfect for the installation, with various objects woven around the intimate gallery space.

A series of pebbles of a semi-precious nature sit in clear boxes in seemingly random locations up and down the walls of the gallery. On each is some variety of symbol, whether taken from the Greek alphabet or a computer key. The work, by Ariana Ramic, suggests some sort of affinity to computer science and language, yet the specifics elude the viewer. However, they are aesthetically lovely objects, instilling a desire to hold the perfectly formed stones and find some esoteric power in them.

Also exhibited is an illustration with accompanying text on the importance of social media in a woman’s life. Nearby, suggestive phallic rubber forms with dominating ceramic feminine fingernails hang from the walls. The materials used in the latter are engaging due to their contrasting textures and the questions they pose surrounding sexuality and gender.

It is unclear, however, how these two artworks sit together.

The final artwork on display (if you are taken to move around the exhibition in an anti-clockwise fashion, that is) is a video piece by Hannah Black. It draws you in with the warbling sounds of Whitney Houston’s recognisable “I Will Always Love You”. This is paired with jarring footage of falling down some sort of cavern, and voice-overs speaking of moments in life reaching greater depths. It suggests a life spiralling out of control, which is well suited  to the soundtrack. It is wonderfully successful and bizarre, and bizarre in sort of a hysteric fashion.

Overall the Embassy Gallery plays host to an eclectic mix of artworks, which are simultaniously playful and confusing, and intentionally not quite satisfying.

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