Behind Smith St, and down a small alleyway I found Rear View Gallery. The door was ajar, and sort of small – a harbinger that something else is happening here. Immediately on entering the space I encountered Sarah Byrne’s Poor Traits + Other Quantities, a multi-channel video installation. The video images showed lush portraits of figures half glimpsed through the decay of the digital image – accompanied by a similar sonic landscape. This is a wonderful sort of glitch aesthetics – suggestive, rich and poetic.
Walking around the corner I met Rex Veal, minding the gallery, and whose work was installed in another space, called Flake, at the far end of the building. Flake, initiated by Kate Meakin – it is her studio – is the name of the space that you reach after walking down a long corridor, past busy cluttered studios. It felt underground – maybe it is underground – I could hear the claketty clak of high heels above my head, in the Chemist shop, on Smith Street.
Flake is a long narrow space that you need to step up to, or, you could stick your head in and look. I wasn’t sure. Rex Veal and his art partner Rohan Whitely work together as Rare Candy. They are currently showing a work titled Squinting at Tiffany’s. At first I just look from the door, wondering if I can cross the threshold, I do. The tightness of the room creates a sense of immersion, I feel like I’m in the work, there’s an as if quality, as if I’ve entered a crime scene or perhaps a romantic movie with a sad end. There’s a nice spareness to the space except for some carefully placed vintage fashion accessories – careful yet with an air of abandon…There’s a teasing violence to these old and worn objects. The woman’s handbag dangles an excessive load of keys as well as locks, the chain is anything but Tiffanys… it’s a scene without the actors, suggestive of something more, a tantalising snippet in which an aged Holly Golightly is no longer so carefree. Perhaps.