This weekend BeExposed were invited to photographer Hania Farrell’s debut exhibition Teal, based around the theme of water and the Lebanese landscape. Hania was a recent finalist in the Saatchi Point and shoot competition so I had high expectations heading into the old townhouse in Chelsea. On a cold November evening it was quite surreal to go into a bright, fresh, space for an uplifting evening of summery imagery and sounds.
The exhibition was split into sort of mini series of different feelings that water can portray. Hania decided to use water as her reference point because she wanted to explore its interplay between light, colour and motion and as I walked into the first room I got a powerful feeling of a calm positivity. Entering the first room, the series entitled Boys will be Boys, took me back to summer frolics, laughter and freedom. I could relate to the energy and joy of jumping off rocks into the cool water and being young and care free; I think a photograph making you feel such positive thoughts is something really special and I was surprised at how relaxed I felt, having only left the office half an hour ago on a wet and wild evening.
Roger Bevan, an art historian and arts writer noted:
“Just as autumn turns into winter comes an exhibition which reminds of the frolic of last summer, or anticipates the pleasures of next summer, as joyous youth engages in swimming games and diving contests around the rocks of the Lebanese coast. These beautifully printed colour photographs speak of a season of carefree existence before school, or family responsibility, restarts, when fun and friendships were all that mattered”.
Room two moved on from the fun of the rock jumping to free flowing water from splashes and showers and crashing waves. This room felt more intense and powerful, even the acts of the children playing seemed more considered and competitive. Following on from this room was a video installation of crashing waves and sounds of wind and the tide; I could have spent all evening in there, it was like some sort of water therapy just standing, listening to the melodic draw in and out of the waves.
Moving upstairs and into another view point was an underwater world. Visitors could stand on a diving board over a swimming pool where children look up through the surface, rippling the water with their breath. I really enjoyed this series with the vibrancy of the light and the beautiful turquoise blue colouring.
Last but not least at the very top of the staircase was Cogs, showing the rusting machinery that supplies millions of Lebanese people with water. Although the machinery is metal and supposedly sturdy against the powerful rush of water, it looks old and feeble. I loved the painterly look of the rust in this photograph giving it a sense of depth and texture.
The last picture, as I walked out and down the spiral staircase was simply entitled Tree. I was curious about this picture and kept looking at the ceiling as I moved round and down the stairs mesmerised. I wondered how this related to the theme of water but Hannah explained ‘This image shows filtered light and energy rush through the treetops. The colours of green and blue are a mirror of the water below’.
All in all, I really enjoyed this exhibition and was surprised by how my mood and feelings of positivity were lifted. I think that if you let mind wander and roam freely you will be taken in by the power and beauty of water portrayed brilliantly by this talented photographer.
The exhibition runs from 14 November 2013 – 30th January 2014 (closed 23rd Dec-2nd Jan)
Open daily 11-5pm | Thursday 11-7pm
Address: 21-22 Cheyne Place, London, SW3 4HJ