For Nicci Haynes the limitation of language is a major preoccupation. ‘No method of conveying information ever seems adequate to translate my first-hand knowledge of the world into words. For a start’, she explains, ‘language is successive, my experience is not’.
With language being both her material and her theme entanglement and contortion, expressed via drawings, photography and video, are unavoidable. Speech acts is the current manifestation of her ongoing struggle with linguistic systems.
This series of pencil drawings by Clare Thackway mimic the craft of knitting where a single thread weaves and knots to create a fabric. This work is a contemplation of connectedness and the complexities of interlaced human relationships.
As the eye follows the tangled thread, looping repeatedly, the pattern gives the illusion of a continuous line. Derived from an initial spontaneous scribble each drawing follows the same interlocking system. Dictated by the edges of the frame the rules of the pattern change slightly as one drawing informs the next. With an absence of tone or rendering, these repetitive linear marks create a rhythm, sprawling and expanding across the flat picture space.
Image: That which connects us, 2016, graphite on paper; image courtesy of the artist
A meditation on wood, paper, typography, drawing and print. This body of work is printed from a solitary wood type character; the rest of its alphabet has been lost.
About the Artist
Caren Florance teaches Book Design and Typography at ANU and UC. She often works under the imprint Ampersand Duck, and is an artist whose work focuses on the book and the printed word, using traditional letterpress and bookbinding processes along with more contemporary technologies. She is currently a research student in the Faculty of Arts & Design at the University of Canberra. She is collected by national and international institutions, mostly libraries.
Pursuing a printed-paper aesthetic, Daniel Vukovljak’s work follows several lines of inquiry seeking a playful conversion of rational or irrational thought into form. The inquiries, performed like mini experiments, generally take the shape of “What happens when I take A and perform B…” and “What if I combine it with C?”
As Rudolf Arnheim says in Visual Thinking, to make an object/idea visible is to know its essential traits. Daniel intuits that the act of making can also flow knowledge back into the object or idea being depicted.
The resultant works or “inquiries” act as a visual imagery smorgasbord to stir the imagination.
Image: General Thinking, 2015; 10 x 10 cm
Inspired by the concrete screen brick, Alex Lewis presents a collection of digital prints that isolate and examine this modernist building detail.
From Palm Springs to Bangkok, on university campuses, public amenities, the wall in your grandparents’ backyard to the top course of bricks in a small Guatemalan house; the familiar screen brick can be discovered in surprising places. This diverse typology is ubiquitous and internationally enduring. In recent times, the simple designs are quietly coming into focus with nostalgia, curiosity and appreciation.
SCREENS is part of Alex Lewis’ ongoing investigations into the rich territory of architectural fragments in our urban environment.
Alex Lewis, Cross (2015) digital screen print, 24 x 42 cm.
Janet Angus represents psychological space, through constructed worlds symbolic of internal emotion. Her paintings take the form of three-dimensional constructions as a means of reflecting the structure of the human mind. They acknowledge architecture as a method for constructing composition and establishing the psychological foundations of the work. Their aim is to generate an experience of the paintings, which is understood both visually and emotionally.
Image: Enjoy the Silence, 2015, oil on board
The narrative plays a central role in Julie Bradley’s art practice with her images acting as a vehicle for her own personal story. Julie investigates ballads, folk stories, myths and legends in her artwork and creates new expressions of these old tales. Plants and animals and the relationships between people and the natural world are central to the stories she has chosen to explore.
If I made you a mountain is a new series of work by Shellaine Godbold which explores the relationship of self to place. Recently returned from a trip to her grandmothers’ home town in western Queensland, Shellaine has created a series of large scale drawings which are a deeply personal record of her connection to this area. While the work references elements of a known landscape the drawings are not easily identifiable landscapes. Mountains are divorced from their surrounds and float in a white space – a fragment of memory drawn out onto the paper. Subtle watercolour washes suggest not only rivers and streams but also blood vessels and veins.
‘(And) If we opened people up, we’d find landscapes.
— Agnès Varda
Image: If I made you a mountain you would fall down and tremble, 2015, Watercolour and pencil on paper, 72 x 118cm
An exhibition of paintings on cardboard by Annika Harding, Damn explores landscapes in various stages of destruction, construction and activity. These raw and vivid paintings recycle and reconstruct images from ventures into managing the environment, including large-scale projects aimed at shaping the environment to man's needs at the time. A prominent example of this can be seen in the works based on images of dams around Australia and the world, many being demolished due to changing needs and growing concerns about damage to river ecosystems. Harding is fascinated by these landscapes and the ways they can be investigated through paint, drawing out questions about humanity's exploitation of the landscape and how we might continue to redress our attitudes toward this exploitation in the future.
Brian Smith’s drawings and prints of Fritz Haber explore how our opinions are formed and challenged by new and incomplete information, and also what information we should value. To help experience that, these portraits were originally issued as trading cards. The varied styles and content reflect a life of vast contradictions, a life inspiring pity, respect, admiration, loathing and disgust. Today, billions rely on Haber’s Nobel Prize winning science to eat and live, but on 22 April 1915 at Ypres he also unleashed the horror of modern gas warfare. In our time of commemoration and conflict it’s timely to reflect on Haber's legacy and the morality of patriotism.
Brian Smith, Fritz Who?, 2013, digital print (coloured from linocut print)