Rear View + Flake

Sarah Byrne, Poor Traits + Other Quantities
Sarah Byrne, Poor Traits + Other Quantities

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.

Rare Candy, (Rex Veal and Rohan Whitely) Squinting at Tiffany’s

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.

Down the Rearview corridor on the way to Flake
Down the Rear View corridor on the way to Flake

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.

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Rare Candy, (Rex Veal and Rohan Whitely) Squinting at Tiffany’s