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  • Frank Atisso

Status Menti - A Journey Through Elfi Siemens' Personal Darkness

Explore the dark, hard-hitting, emotional art of Elfi Siemens at the Nitroglobus Gallery, which will prompt you to look deep within the darker parts of your own self.

Dido Haas' Nitroglobus Gallery is well known for hosting exhibitions which have a part of the artist's soul in them. Rather than revolving around a central theme, the art displayed here usually documents a personal, emotional side of the artist which is rarely seen. So is the case with "Status Menti", the latest exhibition here by artist Elfi Siemens.

While Elfi's work is not entirely new to me, having come across it in a few places before, the work she displays here is strikingly different from what I had seen so far.

Each of us has our own personal darkness, often born out of tragedies, negative emotions and experiences we might have had. This darkness is something we try to hide from the world, perhaps because we ourselves are scared of it in some way. These dark, sinister places in our heart scare us because we are afraid to confront them, fearful of what they might reveal.

The title of the exhibition - "Status Menti" - is a phrase in Latin which translates to "state of mind". And the exhibit is just that. Through fourteen incredible pieces of art, Elfi takes us on a journey through this darkness that is within her, trying to bring it to the fore, to confront it... in perhaps an attempt to overcome it.

While this journey may be personal to Elfi, viewers will be able to relate to almost every aspect of it and reach out perhaps to the darker parts within themselves in an attempt to confront their personal demons.

For example, the very first image "Who am I today?" is something most of us can relate to in today's world which sometimes forces us to put on a happy face even when deep down we are dealing with sadness and grief; or which prods us to show enthusiasm even when deep down we are not. In many ways, each of us is wearing a mask which we change depending upon the situation presented to us.

In her exhibition, Elfi explores some really deep, dark and emotional places within herself dwelling upon the themes of heartbreak, indecision, frustration, helplessness and insomnia. Her art is hard, layered and might not be suitable for a light viewing, if that is what you are looking for. But it is one which will touch you deeply and one which will prompt you to reach within and confront shades of your own personal darkness.

Adwehe's ribbon spheres, Cherry Manga's sculptures and the "reflective" flooring within the gallery space create the perfect ambiance for this exhibit. The large format of the images also immensely adds to the viewing experience.

"Status Menti" by Elfi Siemens is an exhibition which makes visitors look within themselves and confront your inner demons. While it might not be an easy viewing emotionally, it will be one which will linger on your mind for a long time after your visit.



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