Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger
A solo exhibition by Elin Melberg at Galleri Opdahl, that is simply something that I can not miss. The immediate impressions are works in her familiar visual language: bright colors, wonderful reflections, soft textiles. But there is something lurking under the surface this time too.
The background is the sorrow of losing her father, and the works are all produced in the months after this happened. Knowing this the artworks have a totally different impact on me as a viewer. The frames suddenly seem so empty missing their images, like things that are cut away to never reappear, only as fragmentary memories.
The cryptical text sewn onto the textile becomes the hopeless try to sending a message through, blurred to nonsense through the veil of the brain damage of a stroke or the annoying "smart"-phone autospelling.
The latex mould of old doors are like faint ghost doors, they serve no purpose, leading nowhere.only the empty shell
A carpet of shirts are the memories of their owner. Some people may remember the owner used one shirt at one occasion, others may remember other shirts.
Float / Cream satin
The beautiful pedestal or soft bed becomes in this context a beautiful but so sad coffin. The light reflections may move, but the linen is perfectly still.
Stretcher frame no. 4 (No content)
Float / Black fluid
The pool of waste oil becomes a bottomless well, a vertical tunnel with
no light in the other end, a portal to the other side, a shaft into the
deep of the ground. But trying to look into it all I see is my own reflection. The choking smell of the oil is the smell of despair.
The exhibition is thoroughly sad, but at the same time so beautiful. The emotions the artworks trigger are overwhelming, intensified by the strong, volatile oil fumes.