ebru ercan and her secret world of “Enchantment”

“The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen.”
-Le Pettit Prince

As many of you know, kids say the darnedest things. If you pay close enough attention, in a child’s earnestness we often catch a glimpse of their future self. When I was a youngster I would draw on everything: myself, my sister, the walls, inside the refrigerator… let it be said that my parents were well aware they had an artist on their hands. Did I grow up to be the next Picasso? Not yet. I did, however, find a passion for Art History. Creative writing and art criticism are my current crayons of choice.
The same childhood shenanigans can be said for our current exhibiting artist, Ebru Ercan. Standing 5’ 9”, not counting her staple 6” heels and wild blonde hair, Ebru knew she was destined to be an artist from an early age. Finding her niche in architecture, Ebru graduated from Auburn University and is currently licensed to practice architecture nationally as well as internationally (her family is from Istanbul Turkey, where she has both exhibited her paintings and designed commercial as well as residential real estate). She also triples as an interior designer, furniture designer, and last but certainly not least, an abstract expressionist painter.
Constantly creating and using her artist aptitude on a day-to-day basis, it is no wonder Ebru gleans inspirations for her paintings from her everyday life. From buildings to colors to travel, Ebru mixes the tangible with her emotions, yielding in beautiful abstract creations. To me, the energy behind the work seems to stem from the following notion: when working within strict guidelines and structured atmosphere everyday, her canvases allow her mind rest and explore the depths of her emotions and the unstructured world of the imagination.
One can see a sense of unity and balance throughout Ebru’s exhibition as a whole. Her vibrant palette is set in motion by heavy-handed brushstrokes filled with acrylic paint, serving up both texture and depth with each pass. A sense of rhythm is created with her brushstrokes as well, as she alternates horizontal and vertical strokes, thus concluding in a pleasant mixture of actual and implied texture. The thick layer of resin dripping off each canvas acts as a portal, temporarily transcending the viewer from their current mindset to a different setting and point in time, prearranged for you by the artist.
In her signature piece, “Safe Haven” as well as in “Sea Rise”, one gets a palpable sense of tranquility from a vague conception of the ocean floor, offering a cool serenity through suspension of disbelief. The calmness of the ocean floor invites the viewer to impose their own experiences, characters, and settings into her painting.
With so much creativity flowing from Ercan on a day-to-day basis, her work is anything but arbitrary. Yes, she does have a signature style to her paintings, but her works will evolve right along next to her. Ideas and frame of mind shape her canvases and I only see them getting brighter in the future.

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Photos by Caitlin M. Webb

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Callahan-Artist Talk

Something unique we do here at Sight+Sound Gallery is to host an Artist Talk accompanying every exhibit. Here’s why: art is a very personal undertaking. Too often artists’ work is an expression of self that falls upon an alienated, and thus unresponsive public. This is beyond the reality for Callahan McDonough’s latest body of work entitled “A Sword of Moonlight and Imperishable Love”. With each of her works brighter than the next, it proves useful to have an explanation behind her resin and gold topped paintings. During the artist talk, Callahan stated that the premise for a good number of her works delves deep into her Catholic upbringing, however mirrored in current issues of feminism and interconnectedness. Embedded in each painting is an initial constructed idea, and each idiosyncratic relationship of McDonough to her experience in the world is expressed in bold form. Her inspirations are vast, whether it is concerning her personal life with her son Zach, an idea of attachment with our surroundings, or simply highlighting bold characters from the past. After her singular concentration is chosen, the subject matter and scenery is a gradual, intuitive unfolding.

One of Callahan’s main thesis is the interconnectedness with world around us. She finds that relationship buried deep down and pulls it into the light. In her painting entitled “Mother”, Callahan uses two dramatic images: Eve in the center and Adam displaced off to the right hand side, all under a beautifully preserved gold leaf. Flowers bud and bloom up the wood panel on either side. Here, she reminds us of the respect due to the “Mother”, be it her own mother, or the mother of all things. With her luminous pallet, she honors all women and hopes to create a higher level of reverence.

She enriches her concept of the personal and the universal in another work entitled “The Return is Seeing”. Instead of focusing only on women, she portrays that inner relationship with the animals around us. I loved it when she said, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” Here, she paints animals and a female face, all brilliantly illuminated by the sunlight. The sunlight, in this case, is a metaphor for the light within each person’s self. The only reason we are here on this earth is to reclaim and protect that light, being able to wade through the muck and darkness, understanding our connectedness to everything and thus thriving. Callahan also states that though our hearts and actions, we can ultimately impact the world around us.

Callahan has such a rich interior and her presence is an inviting and enriching one  (clearly mirrored by her bright and intricate artworks) and Sight+Sound Gallery took such pleasure in hearing the stories behind her works, her muses, and her processes. It is common to separate the art from the artist and Callahan so eloquently reminded us how the life of an artist is perpetually woven into their art. Her mind, her art, and her being immensely inspired us, and we loved hearing about the particulars of each piece. Thanks to all those who asked very insightful questions allowing us to delve into atypical aspects into her works.

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5 4 3 9 8 7 6 2 10All photos are Copyright by our photographer, Terrell Clark.

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The thrill of an Opening Reception

callahan_opening_0019 callahan_opening_0016 callahan_opening_0015 callahan_opening_0013 callahan_opening_0012 callahan_opening_0010 callahan_opening_0007 noname-2 noname noname-1 callahan_opening_0001 callahan_opening_0009 For those of you who are unaware, there is a hefty amount of work that goes into an art exhibit. After choosing the right artist for your gallery (which is a tremendous undertaking all on it’s own) there is a metaphorical ocean to cross before knowing if it is going to prove successful or not. Despite the work that goes into such an undertaking, the measure of success is not realized until opening night. Despite the obvious, the triumph of an art exhibit is not relative to the amount of people who come; the victory comes from the viewer. Do the guests breeze their way past the artworks and end up chatting in front of the complimentary wine or do they spend time talking about the work, lost in a conversation with the artist herself. Luckily for the people behind Callahan McDonough’s newest exhibition at Sight+Sound Gallery, the exhibit entitled A Sword of Moonlight and Imperishable Love proved worth it.

Located in the Old 4th Ward and housed in StudioPlex,  (659 Auburn Ave, Suite G4) Sight+Sound Gallery is a multisensory gallery highlighting fine art as well as housing ten of the world’s top audio equipment, hence Sight+Sound. Showing until June 28, 2013, Callahan’s newest works are featured on large-scale wood panels, stretched canvas, Arches Paper, and up cycled Corrugated Cardboard, with each work abstractly telling stories of the artist’s past. Walking through the gallery on her opening night, I found myself lost in her elaborate paintings, partially due to the colorful presence they bring into the all white interior, and partly due to the intimate atmosphere. There is something to be said for smaller galleries with big impacts. There is a closeness you feel not only to the works themselves, but also to the people who surround you. Finding myself in conversation with the lovely British woman next to me wouldn’t have transpired if we were in a larger setting, and I will never forget that feeling of shared insight, something that doesn’t happen everyday to the introverted.

The cozy confines of the gallery also allowed me to get up close and personal to Callahan’s works, a perfect way to drink in her complex and highly intricate style of design. Her paintings are created using extravagant brushstrokes in vibrant hues, incorporating old photos and often text into her paintings. This aids in the depth and mystery created by her various layers of color on color. The shimmer of resin and gold paint draw the viewer in, but it is the multiple layers and details hidden throughout her works that maintain your interest. I often stroll through a gallery making mental notes of the pieces I will eventually visit at the end and slowly circle back around. This was not the case at Sight+Sound Gallery. It took me close to an hour to get through my first loop, finding myself lost in the details of her paintings and caught up in the colors and textures of her work. There seems to be a nice ebb and flow to how her works are presented as well, not allowing one canvas to overpower the next. I found myself connecting with each and every work of art. Although I’m not at the point in life where I can spend a few thousand on a piece of art, I did find myself the proud owner of a beautiful Gilcee Print, which is now one of my favorite pieces.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to see her latest body of work you can visit the gallery anytime before the 28th of June on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon to 5pm or Monday through Wednesday by appointment only. She is also giving an Artist Talk Wednesday May 22 from 7-8:30pm, giving us further insight behind her collection of works. While you’re there I highly recommend asking about their audio systems, the beauty and sound of these machines are incomparable. Lastly I want to pay tribute to the elaborate mind of Callahan which created this adventure in the first place. Happy viewing to you all. openingphoto callahan_opening_0009 callahan_opening_0001 noname-1 noname noname-2

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I think I’ve found gold…. For your ears

IMG_0488 IMG_0493 IMG_0492 IMG_0491 IMG_0490 IMG_0487I have never prospected for gold out west, or even in our backyard in Dahlonega, the site of America’s first gold rush.   However, I think I have found it in a British import by the name of Kudos and their amazing little X2 loudspeaker.  As you probably know (if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter…hint ,hint), the UPS man made us wait all day yesterday, but he finally dropped off the box containing these precious speakers that produce very rich sound in a small package.

What is the Kudos X2?

The Kudos X2 is a compact, entry-level speaker with the design and sound of its more expensive counterparts. It measures 30.7in H x 6.7in W x 8.1in D.  Its design drivers are manufactured exclusively for the X2 by Norwegian specialist SEAS.  Based on this, I had high expectations, since the Marten Design Django L speakers we carry also use custom drivers developed by SEAS, and they sound phenomenal. As stated by Kudos  “…drive units and cabinets are woven together with bespoke crossover components from specialists Clarity Caps and Volt to produce one of the most musically rewarding compact loudspeakers ever.”  I don’t think I could have said it better.  The Kudos X2 is ported downward, allowing it to be placed closer to the back wall versus the customary 3-4 feet, allowing for more versatile placement.

Aesthetically, the X2 comes in Cherry (which we have on demo), Black, Rosenut, Oak, White and Walnut.  It is supplied with sturdy spikes that decouple the speaker from the floor.  And, its smart looking grills attach magnetically, so assembly is quick and easy.

The Hookup

We are waiting with baited breath for our Hegel H70 to be delivered for our AudioTactics Event and pairing with the X2.  We hope this combination will be, if you will, the gateway drug to true audiophile nirvana all in a sub $5,000 package.  But in the meantime we immediately hooked up the Kudos X2 to our all-around performer, our VTL I85.  The pairing is nothing short of magic.  Just streaming music and using Nordost Cable Blue Heaven speaker cable the sound was OUTSTANDING.

The Environment

The Kudos X2 is the definition of easy.  By that, I mean regardless of placement or positioning, the sound never disappoints. This is important for individuals with limited space who still seek audiophile-grade sound. For all condo residents, budget conscious buyers, or those who live have smaller rooms or odd shaped listening environments, this is the speaker you have been asking for.

So yes, I think I found gold. It’s the kind of gold that will give you eargasms while taking it easy on your pocket.  Please contact us for an in-home demonstration, and come out to our AudioTactics Event to hear and see them up close.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/147605162077427/

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Cat Power

Unknown-1Cat Power, a Georgia Native, has been part of the music scene since the mid-90s. With 9 albums under her belt and no sign of stopping any time soon, Chan Marshall (stage named Cat Power) is a one-woman show, singing her funky blues for the world to hear. Coming out in 2012 with “Sun”, her first album in a few years, she’s still the same girl trying to deal with life’s issues, but seems a bit older and wiser on this album. Lets talk about her album cover first. Taken 17 years ago in her punky teenager stage with short, cropped hair, she looks like she’s taking the world on (or at least is trying to) with that mean mug. Fast forward to present time, she recut her hair and Photoshopped in a rainbow, partly because some of the songs on this album were written way back in the day, but also to make a full circle with her songs. Not linear like most, she loops back to her past self, past issues, connecting herself and growing from it. Pretty cool.

She seems to come across as the headliner, the matriarch if you will, of today’s time. Heading up the revolution, she’s starting to act as one of us; instead of her pain, it’s our pain. In Nothin’ But Time she says, “I see you, kid, alone in your room/You got the weight on your mind/ And you’re just trying to get by/ Your world is just beginning/ And I know life seems never-ending/ But you’ve got nothing but time/ And it aint got nothing on you” She’s let loose of her own demons and softens up to the world a bit. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s still as depressed as she was 20 years ago, she’s just grown up a bit and can handle it a smidge better.  With songs such as Cherokee, Ruin, 3,6,9, Manhattan, and seven other incredible songs, this album rocks from the first track to the last. Adding in synthizers for the first time, she picks up her wallow full sound, giving us more than just a guitar and a few soft backup instrumentals, adding in more depth to her sound. If you haven’t heard her yet, stop by the gallery today or tomorrow and Charles will play her for you on the VTL system. It’s warm and buzzy, just like Marshall herself.

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Why do we care about electricity and why should YOU?

Nordost ProductsAs we recently unpacked our latest goodies from Nordost, I took a break from grinning from ear to ear to ponder the state of Hi-Fi and what, if any, improvements I would hear from our new toys (see pics below).  I wanted to make sure that I gave proper burn-in time, listened  to a varied amount of music to really compare and contrast and, of course,  make sure the newness of these cool looking items didn’t somehow infiltrate my mind and play psychoacoustic tricks on me. One month later, I’m happy to report that I am still of sound mind and body and happier than the day the unboxing occurred.
On a very basic level, we all care about electricity because, whether we’re always plugged in or “just charging”,  it’s the fuel that powers our gadgets.  But as most of us know, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) and this completely applies to your audio system.  You wouldn’t dare put the cheap stuff from a no-name gas station in your new Porsche or Ferrari, nor should you do that with your audio system.  Here at Sight+Sound, we want to get as close as possible  to the artist’s  truth and to the sweet sound of live music, right here in the gallery.  This is an exercise in a lot of study, component research that culminates in the synergistic exercise of matching various components to meet the needs of every price point.  With all that said, every, and I mean every, system still needs fuel: ELECTRICITY!

That brings us back to our initial question: “Why do we care about electricity and why should YOU?” Well the stuff that comes out of the wall has all type of power running through it:  EMI, RFI and other AC line noise (even the washing machine, the refrigerator cycling on, etcetera).

All of those things affect  your equipment and negatively impact  the coveted sound.
Nordost’s QRT system doesn’t utilize conventional filtering or power regeneration technology. The QRT system doesn’t limit peak current or alter source impedance, both of which can reduce system dynamics. Equally important is the fact that some AC conditioning products cause a reduction of a system’s dynamics–not the QRT line! The QRT Power Distribution line has three components: the QBASE Power Distribution (in either 4 or 8 outlets), Qv2 AC Line Harmonizer and the Qx Power Purifier.  We initially opened our doors with the QBase Power Distribution with 4 outlets and added the QBase Power Distribution 8 outlet and a Qv2 AC Line Harmonizer only five months later.  I can attest to the increased dynamics of incrementally adding to the overall system.  Simply put, things just keep getting better.  This innovative product is the real deal.  The Nordost specs say it all:
“Straight-line low loss design maintains low source impedance of AC supply; focused star grounding; external ground post for connection to separate clean ground; mechanically tuned casework made of extruded aluminum with machined end caps; internal PCB deliberately preferred here over hard-wiring. . . . .”

What I love most about this system is that it’s modular with respect to how and when you build it.  Each incremental piece adds to the overall presentation of the system.  We personally think that the QBASE is an ideal starter system for anyone. Whether or not you have a planned upgrade cycle or need time to budget, the QBASE is a springboard for great sound. And, while we’re talking upgrades, what’s next? I’ll suggest–strongly suggest–the Qv2 AC Line Harmonizer and Qx Power Purifier. The results are clearly audible and real. We’re showing off both the 4 and 8 QBASE Power Distribution units at the gallery now, as well as the Qv2.

Simply contact us to setup an in-home demo–we guarantee music to your ears as you’ve never heard it before.  For more info. www.sightandsoundgallery.com

IMG_0424[1]QBASE Power Distribution & Qv2

 

Nordost CableIMG_0413[1]

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The Qv2 is designed to enhance the musical performance & picture quality of any audio or video system, delivering readily demonstrable benefits at an incredibly affordable price.

The Qv2 is designed to enhance the musical performance & picture quality of any audio or video system, delivering readily demonstrable benefits at an incredibly affordable price.

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Akilah Passmore – Interconnection

This Wednesday night at 7 pm we welcome our featured artist in our Café, Room for Art collaboration with Inman Perk, Akilah Passmore, talk to the public about her muses, the why and how, and the meanings behind her intricate works of art. Here is a bit of insight behind her digital images, mixed media, and collages currently displayed at Inman Perk. Hope to see you there for her talk as well as coffee brewing and techniques from their very own baristas.
Taking on issues such as Identity, life, and self-expression in her body of work entitled Interconnection, Akilah centers her focal point on the concept of energy and the transfer of such. Just as in nature, it takes an army to amount to growth, different elements collaborating together to form something new. Akilah mirrors this idea with her collages beautifully. Transforming old photos and fashion images into new creations, she breathes live into it, reenergizing something old into something new. Teetering on Dadaism, she adds in a sense of sexuality and perplexity in these personal creations, going against the norm, taking them apart and putting it back together her own way. Much as leaves need a mixture of elements to grow, so do we.
Akilah Passmore uses her art as a way to teach others about the transfer of energy and the importance of interconnecting yourself with everything around us. In her “EKG” series she cuts into her photographs of human figures with bold, white lines representing a heartbeat, constructing a physical form of sound. No two are a like, allowing the sound of life to be it’s own self-portrait. Most of her abstract works are made up of everyday objects such as oil, water, string, and foil, all used together to form something new. Recycled energy. Very cool.
To me, there’s nothing sexier than a hidden message behind a work of art. Anyone can be taught how to draw a tree, and with a little practice and diligence one day it might look as realistic as the actual tree itself. One thing that can’t be taught by the academy however is the energy the artwork puts off. Does your canvas breathe? How does it make you feel? What does it mean? With the exception of a few rebels, the majority of artists didn’t go out on their own to create something unique and personal till the 20th century. After a few individuals challenged the chief idea of realism and wanted more out of their artworks than a mirrored image of reality, they didn’t know it at the time but ended up changing the canyon of art previously known to them and set the way for future artists. We are lucky to find this path well paved by today’s era and have the luxury to make art as personal and imaginative as our minds allow. With periods such as Surrealism, Dadaism, and Modernism as muses, Akilah Passmore takes on digital imagery and issues such as identity, energy, and life in her body of work entitled Interconnection, and successfully gets her theoretical point across in her unique works of art.

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Update – Decennial Phoenix Flies Anniversary

DSC_6818 DSC_6845 DSC_6847 DSC_6940 DSC_6546 DSC_6574 DSC_6585 DSC_6775What a good time by one and all. We at Sight+Sound want to congratulate the entire Atlanta Preservation Center team and fine artists for an outstanding show.  As Mr. Coons states ‘No city stands still.  There is no choice of moving backwards or forward – it must be forward…’  Since 1979 the Atlanta Preservation Center has been engaging government, businesses and community leaders to preserve historically and culturally significant buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes.

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Phoenix Files, Shelia Pree Bright, Terrell Clark, John Dean, Stephanie Dowda, Jody Fausett, Jeff Keesee, David Yoakley Mitchell and Rob Simmons’ put forth not only beautiful photos but powerful and engaging pieces of work that everyone should see.  The show is running through March 24, 2013 at APC’s Grant Mansion, 327 St. Paul Ave.  Below are a few photos from the event.

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Sight+Sound Artists Debut in Decennial Phoenix Flies Anniversary Photography Project

What happens when some of Atlanta’s most talented photographers, armed only with their cameras, are sent out to all corners of the city with the challenge of representing our most significant and beautiful historic structures? Each year, for the last ten years, the Atlanta Preservation Center shows us, and the result is stunning. This month, from March 8-24, the Decennial Phoenix Flies Anniversary Photography Project transforms the APC Drawing Room Gallery into a tour of the buildings and cityscapes that together hold some of Atlanta’s most powerful historic moments.

We’re thrilled that two of our exhibiting artists, Rob Simmons and Terrell Clark, contributed images to the project. The show opens tonight, and we’ve heard so much about their experiences that we can’t wait to see the new work in person! We can’t give you a sneak peek here, but here’s what they had to say about their assignment and the challenge of representing Atlanta’s history for all of us:

Our current exhibiting artist, Rob Simmons, saw the assigned historic sites of the project as an opportunity to experiment with a different way of working. If you’ve been by the gallery lately, you’ve experienced the sometimes unexpectedly monumental quality of  images captured through his long exposure shots in vivid color, black and white, and every tone and shade in between. We’re excited to see how Rob chose to portray his assigned sites: the state Capitol building, Upton Hall at Oglethorpe University, and Central Presbyterian Church. Here’s what he has to say about working with his Phoenix Flies assignment:

“Some of the sites were not my typical ‘go-to’ places, and these new experiences opened up a potential new direction for me, including long-exposure interior shots. We were given complete autonomy about how we wanted to work, so while out shooting the Capitol building and Central Presbyterian Church at night, I found the church open for an evening service. Wandering through the candlelit chapel and main sanctuary, struck by the beauty of the interior structure, I created some really textural, graphic images, and a new way of working with and thinking about these historic sites.”

If you’re a fan of Terrell Clark’s work, you know he favors a subtle approach to his subjects, the beauty of unexpected quiet moments, and the expressive qualities of people, places, and experiences. As versatile with immediacy as with the long-exposures required for his pinhole camera series, Terrell captured the Herndon Home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and Auburn Avenue, and Candler Park’s Old Stone Church, in black and white, to record the fleeting early morning and late evening natural light in intimate 10×15” prints. Describing his experience, Terrell says, “As an African American man, I learned a lot about the contribution of African Americans in Atlanta to the development of our city. Along with their individual stories, these living landmarks offer lessons in history and geography as it pertains to the African American Diaspora here, and the richness of that contribution to our city. The project was a really different experience. My work typically centers around events, and the Atlanta Preservation Center’s Phoenix Flies Project took a look at living landmarks of Atlanta’s rich history.”

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Alt-J

This week I’m bringing to your attention to another band from across the pond, Alt-J. Spending the last 5 years writing and perfecting their sound in a college dorm room, this English Quartet can be described as a personal mixture of indie rock, psychedelic folk, and experimental rock meshing together to form their idea of “art rock”.  Alt-J, the keyboard shortcut for the Greek letter Delta (∆) representing change, is well thought out and fitting for the 4 college grads who say their inspiration comes from their fathers and drugs. With only thirteen songs and one debut Album, An Awesome Wave, these guys are riding high on the wave of fame, successfully winning the 2012 Mercury Prize, a £20,000 award and toping the charts worldwide. With silver tongued, whimsically romantic lyrics, Alt-J takes you on a semi-pleasant ride with spacey, smooth melodies backed up by lightheaded, euphoric instrumentals. Listening to the album all the way through, you get the sense of a story being told, with a few heavy electronic synths scattered throughout an atmospheric sound, peppered by a bass riff and amiable keys. They play with your heartstrings, taking you back and forth from desire to despair, and back again.  Opening “Tessellate” with lyrics such as “Bite chunks out of me, You’re a shark and I’m swimming, My heart still thumps as I bleed, And all your friends come sniffling” blur the line between lust and the forbidden.  Telling Interview Magazine that they are not out to change the world, but to play the music they like and want to hear, Alt-J has made their own genre of music and hold true to their sounds and creations. Very artsy of them.

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