Origins at HEIST
Celebrating human identity and unchanged traditions from across the world, fine art photography exhibition Origins is revealed at HEIST. Launched in June 2014, this anti-gallery was the first of its kind in London, creating an immersive experience for the viewer in a most uncommon way.
With music and food inspiring and complimenting each new exhibition, the entire venue becomes an experience in itself, contradictory to the usual sterile white gallery space we are familiar with. Mashael Al-Rushaid, founder of HEIST, was successful in transforming the traditional building to accommodate other-worldly photographs of these diverse tribes. However, to stand in the middle of it all drinking champagne feels rather conflicting and hypocritical, forcing to our attention that we are only observing these fascinating cultures from a distance, without fully understanding their traditions, values and way of life.
That being said, the exhibition is breathtaking and provides a small insight into the raw and untouched beauties of our natural earth and its unique inhabitants who remain unaffected by globalisation. Origins urges the viewer to consider what can be learnt from these indigenous people, and to recognise what developed countries have lost in their modern way of life. It also addresses the belief that much of the earth’s population is losing its identity as our societies unassumingly mould us all in the same way.
Every single photograph and sculpture in this exhibition is enticing, engrossing and utterly exquisite. There is such vibrancy in the gallery, with pieces from seven renowned photographers, four sculptors, one filmmaker and a performance artist. Photographers Jimmy Nelson, Jean Claude Moschetti, Mario Marino and Xavier Guardans have captured their subjects in traditional dress, some posed within natural landscapes and others set against a black background. The indigenous people appear collected and strong. Colourful garnishing and expressive body paint is accentuated in contrast with the skin tones of the subjects, creating extremely captivating images.
The most powerful piece, however, is Gregory Colbert’s film, Ashes and Snow. Remarkable interactions between humans and animals are captured and brought together to create a beautiful, artistic and compositionally fantastic piece. A sense of wonder and stillness is brought about; the images are so engaging that one is able to feel the emotional connection these people have with the animals and the nature that surrounds them. The exhibition as a whole is compelling and very impressive.
Origins is at HEIST from 5th March until 30th April 2015, for further information visit here.