THE POWER OF COMMUNITY Back To Gatherings: Hope, Success & BeautyOn Thursday the 8th of July, I was invited to attend the opening event for ‘THE POWER OF COMMUNITY Back To Gatherings: Hope, Success & Beauty’ by contemporary artist Maria Colom. The evening took place via Zoom, but as an outsider from this network of artists I was surprised by how flawlessly the event proceeded. Not a single technical difficulties or unwanted connection issue. The event was hosted by Laura Iosifescu, owner of the multi-award-winning Laura I. Art Gallery CIC and featured multi-award winning guest speaker Hannah Kupoluyi, founder of All Women’s Network. Colom’s work concentrates on the topic of community with feelings of isolation, disconnection, and of our urgency to get back to sociality; it depicts our reflective of the society we are leaving, a reminder of the countless stories and experiences. The showcase was presented in the form of a virtual gallery split into two rooms each containing a series of works. The first room contained 8 paintings which explored the concept of celebration, using medal colours and figures in various positions. The titles are a imaginative play on words using sportsmanship idioms, elaborating on the theme of “doing our best”. The second room consisted of 10 paintings which make up a series titled ‘Touch Wood’. Unlike the first room where the colour palette created positive feelings which paired with the themes and was dominant over the figures, all the works in this room are unified by being created with wood. Wood becomes the protagonist, leaving the figures in this series to communicate in a more subtle manner using mediums such as stain, oil and varnish to define character. After being walked through the virtual gallery, Colom passed over to the evening’s guest speaker, Hannah Kupoluyi. She commended Colom’s show and the individual paintings, before speaking about her moving work supporting women in her community. The poignance of the evening set in as she listed her methods of being able to support others. She expressed that we need to empower and collaborate, and this is the season to “let go of procrastination, we can all create a positive impact in our community using the talent, skills, and visions we all hold”. Overall, the evening proved well-received, and with the intimate nature of the event amplified by being online, Colom and the audience were able to communicate dynamically. This evidenced by the clear engagement from the audience firing questions in the chat for Colom to answer after presenting each room. The conversation between audience and artist created a unique outlook on the work as themes and concepts were discussed with a rhythmic flow and energy. After a successful night, Laura ended the night stating this was the gallery’s last solo exhibition of the year, an exhibition I am very pleased to have been invited to and I would absolutely recommend checking out Colom’s show on the Laura I. Art Gallery CIC website and subscribing to the newsletter to receive information about upcoming events and news about the community.
LAURA IOSIFESCU Leader for training, connecting, and facilitator of opportunities for creative practitioners committed in social change, cultural, environmental and advancement in the arts.