Art Rooms 2019
Part 2: Hard to leave out...
Due to the exceptionally high standard of art on display at the event, Connected Cultures is including in this section more of the artists from the exhibition. Here, I present those who stood out and deserve special mention, but didn’t quite make the final ten for 2019. I will keep an eye out for your work at future events.
1. Anna Klesse (Poland / based in UK)
Anna produced a stunning portfolio of portrait photographs, with all female models. The pictures that stood out the most for me were those that had a sense of intrigue, in monochrome and perhaps taken from an unexpected angle. This included a portrait that appeared all in white, in minimalist style and with the subject's face appearing to hover in mid air. But, for the presence of gold leaf, the calmness of the pose and the hint of mystery surrounding the subject's thoughts, the star exhibit for me was the portrait shown below:
Golden Girl: portrait photo by Anna Klesse
2. Dmytro Shavala (Ukraine)
Dmytro was just a few wood shavings away from making the Connected Cultures top ten. It’s easy to see why he was voted “The Best Carver of Ukraine” in 2012. Here, in 2019, event-goers enjoyed his project Woman, in which he presented the beauty of women in alluring and stylish forms. Perhaps we were in the presence of the "Best Charmer of Ukraine" too.
Woman by Dmytro Shavala
3. Naomi Takaki (Japan / based in Germany)
Naomi’s textured paintings of rocks made quite an impact. In conversation with the artist, it was agreed that the pictures are best appreciated when you have plenty of time to gaze into them and reflect. In one prolonged moment of intensity, I felt as if I was staring into an irresistible galaxy, illuminated by seemingly hidden sources of celestial light, seeking to draw me in deeper and deeper.
Art (title unknown) by Naomi Takaki
4. Atsushi Fukunaga (Japan)
Atsushi was thrilled to talk viewers through his Story Teller display, based on fragments from the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, transcribed onto mirrors. This was a clever and attractive proposition, but ever so slightly impractical as a reading experience due to the level of the bed on which they were presented. I’m still curious about the significance of the reflective quality of the pieces.
Story Teller by Atsushi Fukunaga
5. Parisa Harati (Iran / based in USA)
Parisa’s picture was simply inspiring, and it completely deserved its highly prominent position in the middle of the fair. The colour scheme of Poem 2, an abstract work in oils, is ravishing. Set within the pale pinks and yellows are fragments of words in a distant language, adding more than a hint of mystery to the beautiful imagery.
Poem 2 by Parisa Harati
6. Luigi Ballarin (Italy)
Living in Ascot, I’m always on the look out for champion horses. Luigi’s Sultano, painted in acrylic and enamel on canvas was a spectacular find. Perhaps a shade too exciting a horse for even Frankie Dettori, but another wonderful creation, and a pleasure to encounter repeatedly at the fair.
Sultano by Luigi Ballarin
7. Rika Nagarhata (Japan / based in New Zealand)
Had Rika been granted a room of her own, I would have found it impossible to leave her out of the top ten. Thankfully, Shisen Ni, a fantastic nature study in watercolours and ink, appeared on the central landing, to great acclaim. The precision is almost scientific, and extremely finely structured, and all the more enticing for this. I would love to see many more of Rika’s pictures.
Shisen Ni by Rika Nagarhata
© Eddie Hewitt 2019
All photographs in this review © Eddie Hewitt, unless specified otherwise
See the Connected Cultures feature: Art Rooms 2019 - The Annual Selection
See the Connected Cultures feature: Art Rooms 2019 - Return Favourites
Previous Connected Cultures features on Art Rooms Exhibitions:
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2018 here
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2017 here
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2016 here