Like a hidden gem, the On Stellar Rays gallery is tucked away among scrubby Lower East Side buildings. The gallery’s main entrance door lacks any prominent labels to entice audience, and visitors must buzz the bell to access the entrance. Feeling as if entering an exclusive event, visitors’ expectation about the works to be presented grows as they walk up the stairs. There, the exhibition “If you want to be free” by Julia Bland is presented in the larger room.
Julia Bland’s exhibition utilizes the space direction very well to allow the viewers to fully participate in the interpretation of the works as a whole. Overwhelmed by the surrounding patterned weavings, one can focus on the compositional patterns of each work and dissect the different materials that are used in each of the work. Bland’s works incorporate ropes, fabrics, canvas, and paints to create intricately patterned nets that are about the size of a large tapestry. Compositional designs that are in symmetry often times play with different colors to express the contrast. In addition, the details with the oil paints, tied rope knots, and layerings of canvas captures the audience’s eyes and draws them in. The colorful shapes of the abstract geometries provide mood and emotional tones for the audience to take in differently and personally.