Saturday, 28 September 2013
thank you and goodnight Victor Dia
Victor Dia's exhibition RAJ comes down today, so if you didn't make it to the gallery to see it in all its glory here a small slice of what you missed:
RAJ (meaning heaven) is an exhibition of photographs of Polish allotment gardens. The use of these little plots of land have changed with Poland: the urbanization of the 19th century saw large numbers of people migrate to the cities from rural areas in search of work. With the economic crises of the 1980s the use of the allotments surged, and they became not just places to produce food, but places to socialise. The allotments became weekend retreats, as sheds became summer houses. The allotments went from places of circumstance to 'tiny paradises'.
The legal status of many of these allotments is uncertain. The shift in the way the plots are used goes against local planning and zoning laws, leaving their future down to particular municipalities. The gardens often sit in what are now prime inner city locations; they are left disputed, not only in terms of the land they occupy, and their change in use, but also in terms of public use of space.
Dia says: 'The photographic documentation of the garden allotment winter dust can be intensely metaphoric: the winter of the allotments’ era represents also the Polish transformation, the hopes and histories, inscribed in the urbanised landscape.' And his images do catch this dusty-ness; washed out and soft, Dia's photographs carefully show what is looking to be the last of these in-between lands.
... next on in the gallery is Women at the HeArt, an exhibition of work made in a creative project that offers women who are dealing with challenging issues the chance to think and reflect, and to encourage them to take positive steps towards a more rewarding future. Opens 4th October.