Exploring an Overdose with Traci Ultsch

Traci Ultsch’s latest exhibition at IMAGO Gallery 3 deals with the problems of drug addiction and overdosing while also making art more accessible to the community because of a new “Pay As You Feel” system in place.

Last month, I had interviewed Traci at length in a very candid interview when I ran into her while visiting her joint exhibition with Dido Haas – “Things“. Some readers may remember that during the interview, Traci had hinted of an upcoming exhibition dealing with her past issues with addiction and overdose. That exhibition is finally here!

Overdose” by Traci Ultsch at IMAGO Gallery 3 is a small, but remarkable exhibition by Traci. As is often the case with her work, it deals with a topic that is not easy to digest – drug addiction and overdosing.

Art, for Traci, is a medium to examine her life and deal with past and present issues

Traci often uses her art as a medium to explore herself. She looks at a different aspects of her own personality and connects it to some of her past experiences. Her first exhibition – “Camouflage” – dealt with her issues of identity; this one explores the more rebellious and outgoing side of Traci by looking at her past problems with drug addiction and her experiences while overdosing several times.

Visitors to this exhibition are advised to set their Environment to Midnight for the best possible experience. The impressive lighting for the exhibition has been done by Adwehe, who is one of the most incredible artists on the grid where lighting and projectors are concerned.

This exhibit presents two very different ways to look at an overdose

Traci had to revisit the demons of her past to create the works displayed here. A brief glimpse into her mind, back in the days of her struggles with drug addiction, can be seen through the harsh and somewhat explicit words on one of the walls in the exhibit. This wall lays out the mindset of Traci’s former self and the lens through which one needs to view the rest of the exhibition.

According to Traci, there are two ways of looking at an overdose. The first view would be a personal one which looks at Traci’s past experiences through three images, each dealing with a drug she has overdosed on in the past. The other view Traci presents in this exhibit is a more general one which deals with an overdose of life itself, which can lead to someone trying to find an escape through drugs.

Traci blends in her SL photography with her RL artwork in the works exhibited here to create something truly amazing. One of the biggest challenges she faced while creating the art exhibited here was to get back into the headspace of her past self. This affected her deeply and for a while, she even had to take a short break with half of the art still unfinished.

The innovative DJ booth created by Traci for the opening party of Overdose

One of the most unique features of this exhibition is that all the artwork here has been set for sale on a “Pay As You Feel” basis. Traci has always maintained that she is not in this to make money and that her focus is always on making art. By not assigning a value to her work, she stands by this claim firmly, thus allowing anyone who enjoys her work to own it. Traci also tells me that this is a practice she plans to continue at other exhibitions from this point onwards as well.

I was truly impressed by Traci’s latest set of works and I am sure all visitors will be as well. It is a small but rather remarkable exhibition which showcases the personal demons of Traci’s past and which also makes art more accessible and available to the community thanks to the “Pay As You Feel” system in place.

Click HERE to visit “Overdose” by Traci Ultsch at the IMAGO Gallery 3.