Islands and Myths, Belfast Exposed Gallery

I truly believe that art is for everybody and I mean EVERYBODY. Forget social status, colours, races, disabilities, or whatever else silly people might think to divide human beings, Art IS FOR ALL! And Belfast Exposed Gallery is open to all.

Art also has the magic power to raise awareness for different things smaller or bigger. Things that we might ignore or that might exist in our unconscious nous. Art can also make us see the world through somebody else’s eyes or just different. Art is magical indeed.

But this post isn’t just about Art in general, is about a specific exhibition called “Islands & Myths” and is taking place in Belfast Exposed Gallery until 18/8/18.

Three artists participate in this exhibition, Sanne De Wilde, Nicholas Muellner and Jon Tonks.

These three artists use photography as their medium to take the visitors on a journey with them. On a journey to foreign, distant islands. In places where time looks like it stopped.

The Island of the Colorblind by Sanne De Wilde, Belfast Exposed Gallery

The first artist you see when you enter the gallery is by Sane De Wilde. She explores through her work, how genetics affect people’s lives.

This particular exhibition, I must admit moved me a lot. De Wilde presents a series of photographs taken in a complex of islands in the Pacific Ocean. You may have heard of these islands or you may have not, they called Pohnpei and Pingelap, and I didn’t have a clue about their existence. Even De Wilde didn’t know their existence until somebody was talking on the radio about genetics and art and told her about these islands.

De Wilde’s exhibition is about a genetic eye condition called achromatopsia, or as most people know it colourblindness. There is a story behind each story I would say. The story behind De Wildes story is that the people who live on these islands are the only survivors and they all carry the achromatopsia gen.

In the exhibition, you can see infrared and black and white photographs, but you can also experience achromatopsia through an interactive installation.

You can enter this small room (see below photo), put on the headphones for directions and draw using watercolour.

You can’t see the colours in this room in the same way you would see them outside the room and that creates a unique experience. After that, you can hang your drawing!

Now, this exhibition really touched me as my father has this condition “achromatopsia” since he was born. Can you imagine yourself not been able to see a colour, or to see green as brown or to see the world around you as black and white only? It really saddens me.

It saddens me even more, that so many people aren’t able to see the world as I see it, with beautiful colours, bright stars and dark skies.  But on the other hand, people learn to appreciate what they can or cannot see. And in fact, people who might not be able to see the world through their eyes, they learn to “see” the space around them using all the others senses. And I think this is amazing and uniquely beautiful.

 

In Most Tides an Island by Nicholas Muellner, Belfast Exposed Gallery

 

The next artist exhibiting is Nicholas Muellner.

Nicholas Muellner is an American Photographer, Writer and Curator. His exhibition is very interesting. It is, lets say, divided into two sides. On one side there are black and white photographs shot in Baltic Caribbean and the Black Sea.

And on the other side we have coloured photos of gay people in Russia. These coloured photos have something unique. Even if they show people, you can’t see their faces. They are hidden but at the same time, they are there.

I would say that just by looking at these photos and the way they have been placed for the exhibition, you can see two different sides but at the same time, they are the same.

The black and white photos of coastlines that look abandoned, lonely, wild, sad. And on the other hand,  the people photographed are feeling the same way. Is like the black and white photos are mirroring the inner feelings of the coloured ones.

And in the end, you realise that what might look beautiful and colourful on the outside is just an image, a lie. And what lies inside us might be a completely different story. Even if this story isn’t very nice, beautiful and colourful, still it is ours.

 

Blog by Jon Tonks, Belfast Exposed Gallery

 

Similarly, to the other two artists, Jon Tonks, travelled in Vanuatu islands complex in the South Pacific in order to explore and investigate the “Cargo Cult”.

People on these islands believe that the Messiah will come with a cargo full of goods to save them.

In the exhibition, you can also see objects, photographs and video that Tonks gathered over four years.

It is really interesting to be able to see how people from different cultures live their lives. How different events, lead to different beliefs and how they affect people’s lives. We are all human beings but some of us are waiting for a saviour and some other of us are trying to be the saviour of ourselves.

 

I really recommend to visit the Belfast Exposed Gallery and  see the exhibition “Islands & Myths”, cause it’s not just an interactive, entertaining exhibition but it also presents islands and myths that we might have never had the opportunity to see again in our lives.

The Exhibition will run until the 18th of August 2018, so you have plenty of time!

Andy

xx

 

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