2019 is a pivotal year. The end of one decade and the beginning of another. A good time to evaluate the fruit of seeds sown in the recent past. Some, beautiful though they may be, are invisible to the naked eye. Or at least are easy to overlook. Better to fall into silent observation than lay claim to a manifestation of systemic outcomes.
The transient blooms of a bouquet in the hand can often smell like loss; traduced in an instant by avarice and scrambled by time, as if to add insult to injury. Likewise, the green shoots sprouting from the crevices and cracks in an arid landscape come to mean nothing to us. That’s one side of the coin; the isolation. On the other, there will always be hope; the art of the possible; the connectedness.
A camera never lies but it might just draw-off our collective soul to generate light and connect otherwise incompatible truths. And, by so doing, yield more reality. More to share. If reality is everything that can be perceived or imagined, then sharing is not only necessary; it is essential. In her exhibition, Charisse Kennion cleaves a space in which every one of her portraits speaks to a unique story. The type of stories that somehow remain sketched subtly and ineffably on the viewers’ mind.
The temporal pathway between sowing and reaping is rocky, disjointed, asynchronous. Making it a journey best understood through the relationships and shared experiences that, in the moment of truth, feel like the most precious of gifts. Each person must have been present in front of her camera at some point in order for the exhibition to exist; to be real. And yet there they are, touching and not touching; smiling not smiling; large and small; set in sharp relief and close captured forever in a particular place and time.
This place happens to be the Medicine Bakery, in the centre of Birmingham UK. It is also the Hazelwell Centre, a vibrant community hub to the south of the city and, in truth, it could be anywhere. Thanks to Charisse’s vision and generosity it doesn’t matter if we may or may not have been there. In this extraordinary exhibition, nestled amongst the promise of better tomorrows Charisse is gifting us “our now”; the sense that we are all somehow connected.