At The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Parish Church, London
Saturday 17th January 2015
Review by Ben Spencer
To purchase any of the exhibition photos, please click on the link below:
After travelling across London and waiting around for some time outside the entrance of the Crypt Gallery, the gathering of exhibition lovers begins to accumulate a steady pace. Once inside, various paintings hang on display for today‘s event. Most notably, Ester Segarra’s Shards photo portrait draws highly to the attention of the event’s early arrivals.
As the free absinthe glasses fill up, the Exhibition assistants gradually begin hand picking various guests to enter into the green lit archway, which leads further into the crypt beneath St Pancras Church.
Once inside, the long stretched out hallway remains entirely dark, with virtually no visibility or room for movement. Towards the front, Shards unveil an interesting set of music to start the event.
The female fronted gothic act display an aural balance between melody and density as the guitars and vocals remain highly present in their sound. Behind the band, a projector screen displays visuals of waterfalls and other natural landscapes, providing a far more sensory experience. The atmospheric blend of tribal drums and thought provoking lyrics sweep across the crowd who fixate upon the trio standing before them.
‘Choose Between Fear and Life’ stands out as the most tangible song, with the band’s story telling aspect remaining a strong attribute throughout. As the guitars slither along with delicate tones, the room falls into a trance-like state from the music and visuals of this impressive performance.
As they depart, the assistants guide the crowd into the crypt’s main area. Upon arrival, Ester Segarra’s photographic portraits of Varg Vikiness (Burzum), Pelle Ahamn (In Solitude) and Erik Danielson (Watain) hang upon the stone walls in a complimentary manner.
Ester’s work showcases true professionalism within the world of photography with each portrait becoming a focal point of contemplation to the congregating attendees, who begin conversing over the portraits of their musical idols. What’s more, these portraits do more than serve the image of these musicians, there is a level of depth behind their eyes that Ester captures flawlessly. Fantastic work!
After passing by several gravestones that lay propped up against the walls, Zbigniew Bielak’s artwork stretches out through across another proceeding corridor. In this area, the hauntingly bleak picture of Watain’s Lawless Darkness becomes instantly recognisable.
Ghost’s Depth of Satan’s Eyes proves to be a favourable portrait from the crowd. The vast level of detail represents a multi- dimensional piece of art that you can continually find something new in with subsequent viewings.
Zbigniew Bielak possesses a level of creativity that keeps you staring at his work for a considerable amount of time; deciphering the visual narratives within each piece. His work reveals a meticulous level of craftsmanship, and there is something both alien and familiar about his artistic endeavours that is worth taking the time to appreciate.
As the smell of incense resonates throughout the Crypt, and with musicians strumming acoustic guitars around the underground passage ways, the atmospheric approach to the exhibition are all part of what makes it so appealing.
From the organisation of the venue staff to the seamless array of art and music, Shards Dissolve is the perfect Winter exhibition for those who hunger for something cold, dark and nothing short of beautiful. Unforgettable stuff!