Exhibition Review: Shadows & Echoes by Justyna Neryng @ Corridor Gallery

Image: Ghost Dance III

We don’t see women enough. A recent video by Elle Magazine made this shockingly clear in managerial roles, but what about in our daily lives? Neryng’s new photo exhibit displays woman-hood proudly on show, as something bold, striking and chillingly confident.

Corridor Gallery has only recently opened, being placed conveniently on the busy York Place, near Shuffle Bar. Art has historically had problems with distancing itself from middle and lower class life and locations, but this placing shall hopefully allow more people to see the work, say, on their way home from work. The gallery is designed to be walked through one central walk-way, with windows on either side showcasing Neryng’s two separate works, allowing you to follow the path you connect with.

On the right, ‘Childhood Lost – Echoes’ follows a sequence of images Neryng took of her daughter. The costumes spanning through mythology mixed with history are beautiful, showcasing the royalty and privilege of the girls who wear them. Yet, they are not happy. Throughout the generations this line of girls have money and power. Yet, when they are all staring back, in such a dark and compelling way, this tradition is clearly not a fulfilling one. The exhibit on both sides showcases one final, larger image in the windows, and you’re allowed to stand on the window’s platform. The girl in the window is no longer facing us. She is away, with her own thoughts and ambitions. She is wearing a mask, seemingly to carry on the tradition of her past generations to the passive, unseeing public, but in reality she is flying higher than they ever could. There is a sense of togetherness with this mask girl, as you too, are higher than those on the street. Lose the shackles, fly.

Childhood Lost II

Image: Childhood Lost II

Ghost Dance – Shadows takes on a more modern view of womanhood. You are shifted into a more intimate, sensitive position when you realise one of the women on show is Neryng. The official promotional blurb is full of buzz, saying that Neryng has a ‘painterly eye, [good] sense of lighting and confident understanding of tone and form’, which is really problematic as viewers will feel overwhelmed and confused, not understanding how the pictures are wanted to be seen, and that they themselves cannot comment on the images in such a confident way themselves. Forget it. The women are entangled, with one of them having long, flowing hair, encasing the other and floating on its own. They twist and turn, with the furrows and form of their breasts changing as they flow. I see women, I see boldness. I see a desire to fly.

Corridor Gallery is open every day from 11-6 (they’re closed on Mondays). The current exhibit is being shown until the 7th November. Even so, as Brighton’s newest not-for-profit artist-led gallery, there will certainly be many more exhibitions in the upcoming months.

By Robert Bone

The Verse Staff

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