The idea of a salon style installation has been a recognized exhibition method since some of the earliest European exhibitions of paintings. The expression of the works as they are situated as a cluster on the wall means that they function as a whole as well as an opportunity to zoom in, narrow down and focus on whatever is most eye catching in the mass of work. In the 19th century this display technique was said to create a sense of hierarchy that would guide the viewer to see the most valuable work at eye level and the rest would ricochet around those pieces, enticing rich patrons and providing intrigue for the viewer. For the summer salon wall at Eclectica Design and Art, we invoke these ideas of days past and turn the idea of strategic hierarchies on its head. Our aim with this salon wall is to relay an organic collection, one that pairs individual works that can be cohesive; to offer a viewing experience that invites the viewer to immerse themselves in a presentation of intimate and delicate works on a grand scale. Each individual work reflects a meticulousness that calls for quiet looking. Jess Holdengarde’s intricate collages, paired with the gentle layering of pigments in Sue Greeff’s work allows for pause and careful examination, while Zarah Cassim’s dreamy paintings alongside Karin Preller’s nostalgic canvases ask for contemplation. Amy Ayanda and Beezy Bailey’s involved mark making and strong brush strokes form a fun juxtaposition against the otherwise more subtle pieces, while Hussein Salem invokes an alternate consciousness that can be accessed through the work into a dream world. The collection of works for the summer salon wall, although smaller individually, offers an opportunity for works to speak collectively as well as in singular statements. As such, the entire was becomes a composite piece of art, easily accessible and endlessly offering new details to be explored.
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