April 21, 2008
OVADA bursts with fresh, dynamic, creative ideas in the multi-media show ‘Gift’ staged by ‘The Ideas Exchange’ collective of art practitioners. Louise Taylor tells a surreal urban story via tantalising fragments of video recordings in ‘Persona Non Grata’. Taylor narrates a desolate moment in time where people are stuck in a holding pattern. The monotony is broken by a chance meeting with a mysterious writer. One of the walls of this naturally bright gallery is full of graffiti from the enjoyably unpredictable hand of Kay Sentance. Sentance presents a priceless miasma of icons and slogans to form a collage of items plucked straight from a working Artist’s mind. Amnesty International inspires a documentary installation by Alex Buhagiar. Literally the visitor can sit down at a station and complete a letter of protest whilst viewing case studies that illustrate the positive effects their action may achieve. Sparked by the work of local Amnesty International members, the installation is a constructive portrayal of the depth of cruelty that exists within human nature. Ann Rapstoff’s installation proves to be the one that on an emotional level is the hardest to leave, entitled ‘Office for the Dissemination of Sympathy’. With a desk full of boiled sweets, ample biros, approachable offers of the next available appointment, all I need is my box of Kleenex then I would stay all day. This simple desk with its promise of a confidential ear brings into sharp focus how the fragile human spirit needs to being listened to and one’s response to it is highly enlightening. The show is indeed one uplifting and treasured Gift!