Aimee Robinson went to the launch of the new Gered Mankowitz exhibition, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, at White Cloth Gallery …
As a Jimmy Hendrix fan and photography lover I immediately jumped at the chance to review Gered Mankowitz’s exhibition ‘The Jimmy Hendrix experience’ at White Cloth Gallery, and I was not disappointed.
White Cloth Gallery welcomes you in, away from the hustle and bustle of the street, with dim lighting and warmth that creates a homely feel. Naturally, as a student, I was more than happy to be greeted by a bar full of friendly staff, and an excellent menu (although the cocktails weren’t quite on level with my student budget).
As I was filming the exhibition for a side project I was a little worried about being allowed to take a camera in, but the gallery, which describes itself as “a pioneering vision to support the artistic community…(and) encourage creativity”, is true to its vision, unlike so many other places I’ve visited. I was greeted by Peter Dench, the gallery’s co-creative director who was more than happy to answer any questions I had and gave me a brief, but thorough, overview of the evening.
Mankowitz’s pictures were displayed in Gallery Two, a white-bricked space, which amidst the calm of the gallery still paid homage to its urban location. Fairy lights dotted about the place, twisting amongst the standing tables, added an almost magical feel to the event and for me heightened the aesthetics of the evening.
As for Mankowitz’s work, personally I found it exciting and edgy, far from what I had expected. The photographer originally shot on black and white film, enhancing many of the pieces with colour in the editing process. This divided opinion – as one budding photographer told me “I love the photos, and the composition is brilliant, but I don’t like the added colour on some of the pieces”.
Despite this, throughout all of the work one thing is consistent- the capturing of Hendrix’s emotion. The photographs show a lot of Hendrix’s personality, something that for fans is truly exciting. Mankowitz described it as “looking at the man behind the musician”, and I don’t think there is a better way of summing it up.
The evening was accompanied by music from the Leeds based band Happy Daggers, a disco influenced rock ‘n’ soul four piece who livened up the evening. I expected to hear the obvious Hendrix tribute act at the exhibition, but was pleasantly surprised by the band, who managed to set the mood with upbeat music perfect for the occasion.
Aside from the Hendrix exhibition the gallery is also showcasing a unique collection by Slim Aarons in gallery one, which is definitely worth checking out while you’re there. His photography is uplifting and summery, which is a wonderful contrast to the not yet spring weather we are experiencing in Leeds at the minute.
Overall I think the exhibition is really worth checking out, whether a fan of photography, Hendrix or just the 60s rock scene in general. The exhibition is running from to March 5th until May 5th and all of the displayed pieces are for sale- with 5% of the cost going towards helping the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.