Tanya Ahmed, writing about the upcoming [( 6 )] exhibition at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. I may have mentioned something about this…
Read more about what she has to say here.
In July, I’ll be one of the photographers exhibiting at Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts as part of [( 6 )] which showcases the work of 6 independent photographers. In the run up to the exhibition, I’m planning on putting out some brief pre-exhibition thoughts on the other 5 photographers. This is the first of these posts, and covers the work of Tanya Ahmed, who lives and works in NYC.
Tanya has been on show at Bank Street Arts before with her black and white East 100th Street project, which revisits the same community documented by Bruce Davidson in 1970. Now though, a few years later the two projects that will be on display still reside within NYC, but are very different in the way they look, compared both with East 100th Street and with each other.
In Untitled, she uses colour to create reflective and calm oases; a mediative space that invites the viewer to consider how the built environment acts as a catalyst to introspection, memory and emotion. In some respects these might be thought of as referencing Japanese “zen”, and in some cases this might have been intentional, although in others it’s certainly more thanks to the sympathetic eye of the photographer that brings this feeling from the otherwise mundane architectural details.
Walking the Gamut again uses colour but now in a vary different way. Here it is used to communicate the uncertainty and adrenalin rush of entering the enclosed pathways foisted on a once wide and open 2nd Avenue, capturing the essence of an outsiders anticipation of night time NYC. This chaos might be due to new subway construction that has dramatically altered the landscape, but the resulting photographs highlight a confusion of shape, colour and route.
Walking the Gamut, © Tanya Ahmed
As I mentioned, the two projects are very different but they’re also intrinsically related, anchored in both space and architectural detail. Seen together it becomes apparent how important colour is in influencing the viewer; the jarring neon against the complementary colour-scapes. Some will prefer one over the other but from my perspective I like them both, just for different reasons.
I’ll revisit Tanya’s work when I see it on the wall again in July. I’ll hopefully post something on the photographs being presented by another artist next week.
The exhibition at Bank Street Arts takes place from July 9th to July 19th, 2014. In addition to Tanya and myself, the other artists on display will be Dewald Botha, Keith Greenough, Nigel Haworth and Pete Mansell.
The show is being supported by the following partners: