Arusha Gallery, 13a Dundas Street, Edinburgh
Exhibition continues until August 17
Open Monday – Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm
The light and spacious Arusha Gallery has decorative corniced ceilings and high white walls in three adjoining Salons, the perfect backdrop to present a diverse range of well-curated Contemporary art by established and emerging artists.
The Festival Exhibition, “Second Self,” showcases the inventive and iconic self portraits by the multi award winning photographer, Juno Calypso. As a student in 2011 at London College of Communication, she experimented with the creation of an alter ego, Joyce, through whom she could express perceptions of women and beauty in domestic settings. The project was so successful that Joyce has come to life again and has been travelling overseas for this series, The Honeymoon Suite.
With a suitcase of wigs, lingerie, make up and camera equipment, Juno flew to the States to stay in a Resort in Pennsylvania, reserving the honeymoon suite with a circular pink bath and mirrors on the ceiling.
These are no ordinary selfies. This is about vintage film noir, voyeurism and sexuality all in one. Think of Janet Leigh (Marion) being observed in her seedy room at Bates Motel in Psycho, the creepy, isolated hotel in The Shining, and perfectly manicured, blonde permed Stepford Wives. Here are inventively dramatised portraits of Juno as Joyce, the solitary bride, portrayed in various guises and seductive scenarios.
Female photographers have long been inspired to represent the role of women in their art: Cindy Sherman studied stereotypes of women in popular culture, masquerading as Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe. Annie Leibovitz is renowned for portraying women, celebrity names from royalty to Hollywood.
Juno uses her camera to tell a narrative like a film maker, drawing the viewer into the imaginative, intimate, veiled and secret world of a wedding night – the traditional role- playing by women from a feminist perspective. Now she is planning to develop the theme and visit Bulgaria, Russia and Japan – “My dream is to go on a one-woman tour of honeymoon hotels around the world.”
Perhaps a publisher should commission Juno to compile a lavish art book illustrating her romantic travels with Joyce!