Roy G Biv Gallery
Elena Harvey-Collins moved to the Midwest from her childhood home, London, five years ago. Transitioning from a place where space is at a premium to a place where abandoned consumer spaces are a regular sight was a bit of a shock for the Brit.
“It’s a profoundly different landscape,” Harvey-Collins said. “To see these spaces that are devalued in such a way to the point they’re not even for sale, they’re just left, they’re like these monuments. I think I just became really interested in finding out more about those spaces.”
Her query into what becomes of those modern wastelands (think empty strip malls and shopping plazas) is the basis of her video project “When They’re Gone, They’re Gone.” Part of the project will be on view this month at Roy G Biv alongside work by fellow artists Nate Mathews and Philip Spangler.
For six months, Harvey-Collins visited several once-popping, now-forgotten concrete Columbus landscapes several days a week. She’d compose a shot and push record.
Resulting are scenes of places transitioning from, as Harvey-Collins said, commercially controlled to democratically produced public space. “When They’re Gone, They’re Gone,” she said, brings up questions about why we leave these places to rot and whether it’s important to consider who takes over after the in-the-know public leaves.
Plants claimed concrete. A hawk pecked at food as a crumbling Value City served as backdrop. Somali women immigrants used the lost lots to practice parallel parking.
For Harvey-Collins, the camera was the most important tool in expressing what she saw.
“We are trained to think the camera tells us the truth, but it doesn’t. I love that things can happen at the edges. The camera isn’t seeing everything,” Harvey-Collins said. “Things are happening at the edges and on the side of this project that you can’t see. For me and eventually for the work, that whole idea of edges and margins and being marginalized was important. It was kind of a metaphor for these places. Having things happens on the margins of these scenes made sense.”
Brian Reaume is a local writer, painter and sculpture artist (you know him from Junctionview, Por Vida, Birchwater Studios and more). Contemporary furniture store Grid is showcasing his works on canvas and wood through October. If paint was Reaume’s blood, words would comprise the heart that pumps it. One encourages the expression of the other. “Make,” “find,” and “keep” are among the words that rise darkly out of some of his abstract paintings, inspiring dialogue within the viewer about what those words mean to themselves, to the artist and to everybody else. Other paintings don’t use words but beat just as intensely to get that inner conversation started.
Studios on High Gallery
Local artist Marty Husted’s mixed media and oil paintings buzz with colorfully patterned emotion. Fiber art by Deb Johnson will complement Husted’s dreamtastic landscapes at this September show.