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Bruises in Suburbia

Also Called a Contusion

(originally written September 14, 2012)

Yesterday we went to the Whitespace Gallery, housed in a beautiful old Victorian house–a restored mansion. The actual Gallery is situated in the renovated carriage house; though small it is a stunning architectural space. The outside structure is fairly untouched, but inside the architect kept the beautiful exposed brick walls while resolving a way to artistically and aesthetically  hang the artwork. It is a very successful space.

We met with the owner and Director, Susan Bridges ( A sweet woman who is the definition of southern hospitality). After she offered us water bottles (we walked to the gallery after riding the train) she took us through the gallery space. The current show is Domiciled by artist Meg Aubrey. Aubrey focuses on suburban women and how, although affluent and residing in beautiful, manicured places, they face intense isolation and a very superficial interaction with the world around them and those residing in it. She uses her neighborhood and her friends as setting and cast to her work. Aubrey deletes a lot of things you would expect to see when tackling this kind of work. Things like mailboxes, houses, other people and animals in the neighborhood. She also emphasizes the idea of stark space by having her back ground a solid, sharp, stark white (you see what I did there with alliteration) to emphasize space and loneliness.

I really like her work.

She very successfully gets her idea across to the audience because she does a lot with a simple idea. Really all the series is a collection of scenes from her neighborhood, but the way in which she rendered them makes them compelling.

I really like the idea of stark space and I might keep it in mind for my future work.

Mrs. Bridges also talked to us about the business side of owning a gallery: how to advertise and network, as well as, what she does on a regular basis. She also went into detail about their openings. She then gave us a tour of her beautiful home and the works of art therein.

However my favorite thing I experienced at Whitespace was the off gallery exhibition space where there was a coll sound exhibit. The space, seemingly a converted cellar or storage area, housed an exhibit where the artist played with sound art in interesting ways. In the middle of the room where a series of keyboards placed end-to-end. When struck, each key produced a different captured sound fragment of a school environment–parts of the Pledge of Allegiance, shuffling papers, lectures, school bells… When my classmates and I played with the piece and struck multiple keys at the same time we produced an environment. It was exactly like being in a school.

Isn’t that a coll idea. Producing a whole environment by playing fragments of sounds (not even continues fragments of sound). that idea stuck with me even after I left Whitespace.


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