Danielle Zelna Alexander, Solo exhibition – Running Through Sand
Running Through Sand is the debut solo Show by Danielle Zelna Alexander with Eclectica Contemporary. It is a body of work layered both physically and metaphorically. It is a wondering through identity – what is seen, what is assumed, what is fixed and what needs fixing. Duality and double meaning ring through the exhibition, as Alexander sets up visual questions and moments for pause and reflection. It is within this pause that the viewer may find a sense of safety, security and calm, masking a set of ideas and thoughts which are slightly more tense, vulnerable and in some cases, sinister. Resonating through the work is a soft subtleness which is both nostalgic and dystopic.
Aesthetically, the paintings explore slow detail and the momentary. By paging through magazines and scrolling through social media, Alexander has drawn from aspects of pop culture and fashion iconography to relate the imagery back to a kind of classism of soft forms and tones. The works are made up of layers of influence, oils and imaginings that verge on abstractions but are still very descriptive.
Using images quickly captured with a cell phone camera, Alexander enacts a kind of care and focus by translating such a quick image into a painstaking oil painting, imbued with layers of time, chemicals and colours. When working with plaster there is a different kind of interaction which also requires intent, planning and concentration because the materials dry very quickly. In this way, the process is inverted – where thinking and planning comes first, requiring certainty before setting out to make, as opposed to the quick click of a camera first before the meditative working of oil on canvas.
Running Through Sand is reminiscent of home, both safe and warm but containing the danger of comfort leading to complacency. The pieces are evident of grappling with these stances of being held and feeling secure and the realisation of needing to push beyond ease to recognise possibilities. Coming at a time in the artists life of progression and adjustment, the exhibition asks for a space of thought, consideration and patience while pushing viewers to piece together recognisable moments alongside musings of relatable existential conundrums.