Hundred Years Gallery: Object = Subject (until 9th October 2013)
The setting for this limited-run exhibition is immediately eerie, as creaky wooden stairs lead you down to an icy cold room, (it was particularly haunting for me personally as I was alone) in which lies several lamps on the ground pointing towards pieces of cotton-rag photo paper. The exhibition catalogue informs us that Leslie's interest and line of research lies in the antithesis of using photography as a purely representative medium. As someone who is scientifically inept, it fascinates me to find an exhibition that supports the artist's work with a scientific or technological backdrop, and it is clear that Leslie is too striving for this connection which is often ignored.
Partnered with the atmospheric value of the space, the artist's use of analog photography instills a rooted theme of supposedly simplified technology. Presenting everyday sights in an alternative fashion, she makes her images fully accessible to her audience. Somewhat blurred or altered, images in the collection include teeth (x-ray style) and a disco ball. Such an incoherent sequence evokes a feeling of panic, which is heightened by the consistent lack of colour in the room and the dark, monotone feeling of solitude. The latter is expanded by the physical setting of the gallery, underground, small and, in the case of Leslie's exhibit, a confusing combination of light and darkness, which places emphasis on the black even with the addition of light. The feeling of the viewer being uncomfortable and 'overwhelmed' progresses with the uncomfortable maneuver, around the lamps in the middle of the floor.
As an exhibition, 'Object = Subject' is a puzzling, dark space with work that will challenge and confuse the viewer. In stark contrast to the fun, buzzing Hundred Years Café which sits above it, the exhibit is a worthwhile visit particularly for those interested in photography.