• Anu van Warmelo

Gallery Syndrome

I've been involved with running this exhibition of Visionary and Metaphysical Artists in Mousehole, Cornwall; also visiting the British Naive Artists exhibition in St Ives for educational purposes! The latter was interesting for me to note that the pictures were being hanged higgledy-piggledy rather than in a straight line around the room i.e. often in groups or clusters, in part due to the sheer amount of paintings. This is actually often recommended in Feng Shui, in order to avoid the killing ch'i of straight lines.

Then it may seem surprising that in our exhibition we did arrange things in one long row around the room:

But look closer. The panoramic view distorts the hall somewhat, exaggerating its non-linear qualities, but it is a trapezium shape i.e. a sort of rectangle with one end shortened. Architecturally this is an interesting shape, ensuring visitors are focused on the far, narrow end. This makes it a good place for lectures. In this case, the focus is on the colourful paintings on the far wall, marking them out as different.

In addition, we begin on the left with the four photographs arranged in a group. Not only - as with the turning walls - do they break the linearity of the display but they are a quiet black and white, building up to a crescendo of colour on the narrow wall; a crescendo which holds along the right side, finally calming down with the smaller pictures in the near right corner. Every picture is working with the others, so that they each get the attention they deserve, and the clockwise movement is in harmony with the sun's movement as observed in the northern hemisphere, and recommended in daily life by the Indian version of Feng Shui, Vaastu Shastra.

A common expression heard from visitors as they enter is, usually after a long pause, 'Wow'.

#art #vaastu #aesthetics