Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

© Daniela Exley

Backing into Art

It is so easy in Hastings to back into art without really trying. Hot reporter Joe Fearn was enjoying a pint of Guinness in local pub Franks Front Room when he slowly became aware of the artworks on display all around the room at the cosy snug round the back.

© Daniela ExleyPrints of hanging skirts, grey, blue, and pink, adorn the front wall, tempting you to look closer to verify their identity, since they are not the usual type of thing you may casually notice, let alone scrutinize. Other objects catch the eye, some sparkly shoes on a window ledge, glass bottle stoppers and other objects on a window frame. The artwork is by Hastings artist Daniella Exley, and called “The Thing about Things”. She explains in her artist statement that The Thing About Things…

“… is a collection of images of collectors’ collections. Things when grouped together are no longer simply objects, they offer us mini-narratives of their collectors lives, little teasing glimpses that tempt our curiosities to delve a little deeper into these telling traces of their histories and their owners’ identities. What is it about things that makes us happy? Do we own them or do they own us? Do they coax us to protect them and as a reward make us part of a club? Daniela Exley captures them in their domain, languishing, standing proud, surveying all they own, but also offering them up for each viewer’s own interpretation.”

On the fireplace in Frank’s Snug is an arrangement of 17 jars, each containing an Archival C-type print. This artwork drew the attention of everyone who came into the room. It was easily the most popular. My particular favourite though, hangs on the wall between the windows; a print of six comical miniature figures perched atop a radiator. The show, which was part of the Brighton Photo Biennial and Photo Fringe, is coming down soon, so do go have a look.

Geri from Franks Front Room told HOT that future plans include art exhibited by students from University of Brighton in Hastings.

About the artist

Having graduated from Brighton university with a BA(hons) in Photography in 2003, Daniela has worked as an interior and portrait photographer with commissions from interior designers, architects, on-line retailers, actors, musicians and authors, as well as working for various publications. Daniela has worked within diverse areas of photography ranging from large scale commercial projects to private commissions; she is a highly skilled and confident photographer happy to undertake new challenges. Clients include The Kula, Pompom&Twiddle, Ponderosa, State of Play, The White Room Consultancy, James Long Design, Made in Hastings, Marta Munoz, Christopher Smallwood Architects. Publications include Living Etc, Home & Garden, You Magazine, Daily Telegraph.

Among Daniela’s other projects is ‘Motherland’ which is an ongoing project set in rural central Romania, Daniela’s birthplace. This series of images explores the pace of life and people’s closeness to the natural rhythms of the seasons, the left over communist structures, but also the villagers’ desire for technology and all things Western.

The Thing About Things: A Collection of Images by Daniella Exley
Franks Front Room, 32 Station Road, Hastings TN34 1NJ‎
Tel: 01424 434300

Daniela Exley – Tel: 07790 452185    Email:

© Daniela Exley

Posted 15:09 Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 In: Arts & Culture

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