Sally Gall Aerial at Julie Saul Gallery
By Helena Calmfors
Walking into the Julie Saul Gallery the viewer is immediately struck by airy lightness and richness of color in Sally Gall’s Aerial. The exhibition features photos of a very familiar scene, laundry hanging to dry, but the result is far from ordinary. Photographed straight from below the clothes drying in the wind are transformed to organic and abstract forms silhouetted against the sky.
These photos are visually quite different from Gall’s earlier works, but they show a recurring use of interesting angles and themes from nature. Her series Blossoms (2006-2007) and Crawl (2007-2010) featured colorful close-up images of flowers and insects and in Unbound (2012) she explored new perspectives of the sky in black and white photographs. Aerial picks up on both the sense of intimacy and fresh perspective from the earlier series, but is much more animated and vibrant. Even though the scene that is portrayed is domestic, it comprises of forms and shapes derived from nature. The clothes hanging to dry appear to be sea creatures, water vegetation or vividly colored flowers.
Gall describes how the series started with an exploration of one of the most ordinary activities in every-day life but soon expanded to something otherworldly, abstract and sensual. The clothes and undergarments that are portrayed become mysterious and dreamy in their shapes and it is almost as if the photos are not really of the clothes but instead portraits of the air and wind whose movement take shape in the dancing garments. It’s a portrayal of something that cannot really be seen and in this way Gall has taken something ordinary and made it magical, surreal and visually captivating.