Justine Varga – Sounding Silence
Justine Varga’s images contain silence, space and peace, bringing a sense of the sublime inside, to the minutiae of the everyday. They aren’t simply made in her studios, so much as made with them. The ephemera that accumulates in her workspace, the surfaces, textures and temperaments that seem to change with the daily cycles of natural light, provide both the setting and subject for her images.
Sounding Silence reduces these elements to the very periphery of recognition, described by Varga as “playing at the edge of vision”. The works, like individual exercises in restraint, use only the most understated of objects, the barest essentials of light and form, and ask only the most fundamental of questions—how fine is that line which distinguishes something and nothing; how much sound do we need to appreciate the silence?
While her compositions reveal themselves in the everyday—a crumpled tax receipt, a discarded piece of bubble wrap, an area of light that happens across a wall—these are only the starting points in a process of painstaking refinement, framing, revisiting, sometimes over days, sometimes over weeks. Her works tease out those moments when simple things become so much more than their makings. Scratching away her own wall markings, for instance, to find the cusp of them being there and not there, or, capturing those seconds when the thinnest slice of sticky tape is dappled by light filtering through the trees outside.
Varga reminds us to allow for fleeting moments of quiet, to notice the understated beauty before, around, in the gaps, of the image and information cluttered world that tends to envelop us.