Virtual Exhibition becomes real as staff prepare to open Ilona Szalay’s ‘Some Are Born to Sweet Delight, Some Are Born to Endless Night’ at Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh


Arusha Gallery Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1pm to 5pm.

A little over 3 months since it closed its doors in March, Arusha Gallery is set to reopen. The gallery in Edinburgh’s New Town has measures in place to ensure anti-social engineering is maintained, that staff are protected, and a high level of hygiene is maintained.

Arusha runs a yearly programme of exhibitions, events and fairs, both nationally and internationally, with regular collaborations with guest artists, curators, festivals and institutions.

The Gallery has continued its exhibition programme throughout lockdown using online viewing rooms where its current exhibition Ilona Szalay’s Some Are Born to Sweet Delight, Some Are Born to Endless Night is on display. It will remain there for those who are not yet able or comfortable with a gallery visit, but last week the staff ensured that it now also hangs on the gallery’s walls ready for people to enjoy in person from Monday through until 12 July 2020.

Agnieszka Prendota, Creative Director at Arusha Gallery said: “We feel a huge sense of relief and release being able to open up the Gallery and share the wonderful work that our artists create with people in person again. It is a huge step forward. Our wonderful audiences and customers have been very supportive throughout this period but I know that we will all feel more joy for being able to come together albeit within restrictions to experience our artists’ work first hand and to reawaken parts of our souls that have remained locked up in recent months.

“We are in full mode preparing for the reopening, with a supply of masks, gloves and sanitiser to be accessible at the entrance to the gallery. We will have an A board outlining the social distancing measure within the gallery where they will move clockwise around the exhibition space. We have worked out that 6 people can be in the gallery at any one time. With all of these measures in place though the atmosphere in the gallery can remain relaxed and open. It’s certainly easier than navigating a supermarket!”

Some Are Born to Sweet Delight, Some Are Born to Endless Night shows a new body of work by Beirut born Szalay on aluminium, glass and paper.

Szalay, a graduate of Central St Martins describes her work: “In the paintings we see statues petrified and bound on their pedestals. Disembodied arms which encircle with dependence and dominance. Broken mythological figures seemingly stunned by their own constraint and ineptitude. Gloriously ambivalent gods and goddesses remain coolly indifferent to what seethes below. And of course ‘the cage’ – the Blakian cage for the robin – the frame itself that holds the image, frozen in postures of pleasure, sensuality, pain, confusion, titillation and torture.”

Through a range of media from canvas to tracing paper, LED light to glass, Szalay engages the multitudinous dichotomies that make up both collective and individual subjective experience in her own restrained, poetic visual language.

Agnieszka Prendota, added: “We are thrilled to be opening the gallery with Ilona Szalay’s show, her works are so tactile and enthralling; it feels right that, now again, it is possible for Edinburghs’ public to experience them in their full impact.”


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