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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Nestled at Deptford X Arts festival

Sally Mumby-Croft visits Deptford X Arts festival and finds herself nestling in with Olga and Ania Micińska.

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

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All photographs © Olga and Ania Mici?ska

One cold rainy morning back in October consisted of a trip down in the direction of Deptford to check out the 12th Deptford X Arts festival. After frequent wrong turns, viagra 100mg map gazing, standing in the map, asking for directions I stumbled into the Viewfinder Photography Gallery and the work of Ania and Olga Micinska.

The exhibition also happened to be part of two other cultural festivals running concurrently: Photomonth and the Big Draw.

Despite the rain and TFL’s apparent desire to make journeys between the East and the South East as difficult as possible, the work of the Micinskas’ was a pleasure to behold.

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The series of photographs depicts one or another of the twins bending their bodies into a variety of urban architectural features that are synonymous with most if not all European Cities. Accompanied by the titled “Nestled” the twins appear to have made a nest in the most unlikely of urban locations.

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The series lends to the impression or question of humans being out of place in the environment of our own creation; the uncomfortable metropolis appears difficult for the body to experience at ease. This feeling of disjunction within the urban jungle is never more apparent than when a tourist, new in a big city, is reliant on maps and blockbuster sightseeing spots to navigate their way through various city planners’ ideas of a navigable livable city.

Appropriately it is this position of the tourist from which the Micinska’s leap into their project: “we didn’t exactly deny our tourist status; on the contrary we thought about our situation more insightfully and the state of being home for a long period of time.”

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Examining the relationship between tourist and traveler they portray their journey through that of the tourist snap, albeit less of a snap more of a lengthy mediation on what it is to inhabit a city through their medium format Pentacon SIXTL and Yashica (6 x 6 format). These cameras’ physical presence extends the body’s circumference of a space.

The Twins never reveal in which city or country they inhabit during the photographic series. Instead architecture bleeds into architecture, undercarriage into undercarriage. We inhabit a world where the only flowers exist in carefully constructed flowerpots along the sides of the road.

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Examining the photographs drew an awareness of the fragility of the human physiology and the hardness, which surrounds us on an everyday basis.

What is undeniable about this lovely photographic series is the presence of play within each of the photographs; hiding behind benches and in children’s playground brings a sense hide and seek into the proceedings.

What’s more this exhibition draws attention to the range of creative expression that is constantly being presented in London, whilst this exhibition fell into the jurisdiction of three cultural exhibitions, it also brought to my attention the variety of galleries present in South East London (Deptford/New Cross/Peckham area). Whilst much has been written about how South East is the new East, there is limited attention donated towards the actual quality of the work present in the South East. Deptford X threw open the doors of Bearspace and Pony gallery both of which feature bookshops and Pony even functions as a café.

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The current show at BearSpace is Goblet by Julia Alvarez

For more information about Deptford X please see  here.

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