Darren Smith (Photography) + Leah Blankendaal (Sound)

1000 Facets, Curb Gallery 2013


1000 Facets is a distant and unusual set of portraits. These photographs are both disorienting and beautiful, juxtaposing inspiration of Dutch masterpieces and Cubist portraiture, presents them in the context of contemporary photography. On top of each image are mounted crystals of different shapes and sizes, causing the image to refract and distort. They cause the viewer to look twice at what they see, to re-examine the images.

The photographs represent only one side of the coin, the other half a collaboration with sound artist Leah Blankendaal. The exhibition explored the relationship between light and sound – as a 'wander through' experience, where the audience moved from visual to auditory stimulation.

Accompanying these images is an audio soundscape of thoughts and ideas, giving the audience an insight into the subjects of the photographs. The soundscape was created from the voices of the people in the photos, from discussions held with them on the subjects of beauty, pain, and awakening. Where the images are distant and jarring, the audio is intensely personal, a layering of intimate discussions captured in a moment.