Gorman Arts Centre

Patterns on the Landscape features eye-popping geometry that transforms two-dimensional flat surface paintings into three-dimensional realms that open up before your eyes. Almost in contrast with the exact angles and impeccably executed lines, it is the pulsating colours and designs of the natural world that inspire her works.

Inspired by the traditions of her people the Budjiti as well as by the environment of her homelands within the Paroo River watershed country of southwest Queensland and northwest New South Wales, McNiven translates the richness of these environments into exciting contemporary works. She began working in this style twenty years ago applying it to t-shirts as well as hand painting lino prints and has now developed her practice to working on canvas and producing sculptures. McNiven connects the Indigenous tradition of interesting geometric patterns with similar movements in the Western art historical tradition such as optical art which was a popular style in the 1960s. These paintings rich not only in colour and visual affect but also in the connections they make between converging cultures and traditions.

Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photography by Brenton McGeachie.

 

Around 1654, the Dutch genre painter Gerard ter Borch painted The Paternal Admonition. This is a figurative painting of an anonymous woman, her back towards us in a satin robe talking to another lady and man seated behind her. Between 1654 and 1750 it is a well-known fact that there were multiple, almost identical replications of this work circulating the art market. Not only was this woman portrayed repeatedly by ter Borch himself, but also by his contemporaries and other later artists. Hanssen has taken this work as a starting point for ten of her own painted interpretations, paraphrases, pastiches and reproductions. She enlightens us with a fresh perspective of the painting and its history of reproduction because in today’s society of technological and digital reproduction this appropriation acquires new meaning. Hanssen ask what is an author? Is anything ever truly original? Or is everyone just reusing and recycling the work of someone else?

Words by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

Green Valley Farm Farm is a regional holiday park located just outside the small country town of Tingha in northern New South Wales. Clare Thackway’s paintings and documentary video inspired by her visit there focus on the freakish specimens sited at this peculiar “bush oasis”. The farm is home to playgrounds, waterslides and deformed animals. If you have ever wanted to see a five-legged sheep, Green Valley’s got one. The most interesting attraction of all, however, is the Smith Museum that was the first registered private gallery in Australia. Here the country curator shows Thackway the unique memorabilia collected over the years. Dead specimens are bottled up and preserved in methylated spirits: two-headed kittens, a headless lamb, an albino echidna and legless lizards.

Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

My paintings are created by referencing photographic source material, and editing it through the process of painting. In this way, the source images lose their original context. This visual editing can create a sense of intrigue, an uncanny familiarity, or a strange sense of déjà vu. I negotiate the unending glut of images in the televisual world by collecting forgotten visual moments in an attempt to re-imagine the everyday. My work aims to explore the parallels and slippage between the imaginative space within paintings, and the hybrid space of the virtual world.

Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan

 

Lyndy Delian’s glass sculptures emerge amongst grains of sand in her new installation, Journeys. Lit from underneath, the play of light in this earthen environment is both astonishing and subtle. Delian makes connections between the original qualities of glass as sand and the sophisticated finished product. As the glass sculptures emerge from the sand, the audience gets a strong sense of her developing process. Delian’s glass sculptures connect with the land and earth as they lie in the soil. Light and reflections evoke the ethereal beauty of the sky and water. These handmade pieces, each surface shaped with care and coloured with thought, reveal the layers of inspiration behind Delian’s work. They are inspired by her connection to land and community as well as by poetry and stories. From these rich sources her organic and lively sculptural forms are imbued with life.

Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

In 2009 Helen Michaelsen, Mona Oren and Ellis Hutch established v.o.i.d, an international project informed by a shared interest in experimental collaborative practice. The artists currently live in Perth, Western Australia, Paris, France and Queanbeyan, New South Wales.

All three have strong connections with Chiang Mai in Thailand, having met there through previous work and study residencies. This place was thus chosen as the initial site for the artists to meet and generate the first series of collaborative works for the v.o.i.d project.

The residency at ComPeung Village of Creativity in the village of Doi Saket in Northern Thailand in January 2010 enabled the three artists to generate the first stage of a dynamic body of site specific performance and video based work. The chosen site was Mae Kuang Dam. Aspects of the site were both monumental and intimate, with elements of the natural environment intersecting with a significant man-made infrastructure. The works were made in response to the site itself and in to the conversations and experimentation the three artists were conducting throughout the residency.

The artists met in later in 2010 in Perth to further develop the initial work and then undertook a second residency at ComPeung in January 2011. v.o.i.d #02 literally took to the water, engaging directly with fluid presences and absences, spending time on the water, watching the light, listening to the sounds, contemplating the sky reflected in the surface while aware of the depths below. Each artist drew on an individual experience and relationship with materials to create a performance to be shown as part of a series of video works; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

It is easy to think of printmaking as an “old-school” art medium. One that was considered state of the art technology in the Middle Ages because of its capabilities to produce thousands of identical images from a single matrix. But this technology is archaic compared to what is possible with the internet and our mac book pros and ipads today. The print is often considered conservative and out of fashion. Many contemporary artists instead choose to work in more ‘so-called’ exciting mediums such as found materials or installation. Joel Gailer, however, shows us that this common conception is wrong. Gailer roams from medium to medium but his works focus on printmaking and how it is the most appropriate and effective medium to discuss the contemporary world.

Unique State features prints on the floor. Yes, I know what you are thinking. How can precious prints be left on the floor? But Gailer is not your conventional artist and his works are by no means conventional pieces of art. For the month of August he has printed his artwork in Canberra-based magazine Art Monthly, copies of which will sprawl the gallery floor. By doing this Gailer is reinvigorating the print medium and showing us how in reality printmaking is everywhere. Gailer returns printmaking to its democratic roots. He reminds us that in today’s manufactured society print technologies produce anything that is a multiple. A car, for example, is just another printed state in an edition. By bringing his artworks into the popular realm he not only challenges our ideas about printmaking, but also our ideas about art. You may ask, how is this work in Art Monthly ‘fine-art’ if anyone can own it? By blurring these boundaries Gailer challenges us. What is art really? It’s up to you to decide.

Joel Gailer would like to thank ART MONTHLY AUSTRALIA

 

Rosalind Lemoh contrasts the living vigour of the natural world with the severe dynamism of industrial reality. Her ability to evoke new meanings in familiar objects such as fruit is uncanny. She overturns conventional perceptions of the weight of objects, their uses and their meanings. The banal becomes the sacred: a banana, a monumental sculpture of polished concrete smoothened with a lead coating. But despite this shiny finish, the banana maintains its every bruise and blemish reminding us of the life it once lived in the fruit bowl before it was given pole position on the trophy shelf.

Using found objects, both living and inanimate these sculptures are a product of Lemoh’s personal experience between being a nature lover an urban-liver. Lemoh takes you on a journey through the life of the object, but she evokes new possibilities. Across different mediums, she explores the emotional and symbolic meanings embodied in them. Her creations startle us as they express the way small and mundane objects come to carry memories and sentimental significance in our lives. But these works are more than personal. Lemoh explores the reality for objects and living things in a natural, yet urbanized society. The new kinds of evolutions living things are confronted with in the face of industrial changes. Sump oil contained in small glass bottles engraved with delicate forms such as the heart or bones speak of this connection between human, natural life and industrial production and its effects. Experiences of both come together in poetic pieces that evoke emotive response and speak about this duality and conflict between our inclination to the natural but dependence on the industrial.

Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

Dirty Water is an exploration of nuclear activity in Australia. It raises many questions, and powerfully associates them with a shared nostalgia. Nuclear matter has often been tested, mined and dumped on Aboriginal land- with devastating consequences- but it has affected many more Australians, including all of Adelaide when a radioactive cloud from British nuclear tests at Maralinga passed over in October 1956.

In some of the video works, the transport of radioactive materials and nuclear waste through the Australian landscape and via bush highways is cheekily depicted. For instance, in Nuclear Highway barrels of radioactive waste tumble carefree through a small town, past road signs and men mowing a grassy median strip. In other videos, Aboriginal women move through landscapes that have been irrevocably changed by colonisation, their presence highlighting how Indigenous people have been forced to change the way they interact with land that they have been living with harmoniously for many thousands of years.

Having lived in the outback and worked in Aboriginal communities, the political is personal for Alder, but she does not expect everyone to share her concerns. Either way, Dirty Water can be enjoyed as an exhibition of beautiful printed images, moving in both senses of the word.

Excerpts from essay by Annika Harding; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

With a background in both archaeology and visual art, U.K. Frederick is interested in the relationships that we form with objects. For Lament, she is exploring the record, and the exhibition will include prints made from records and music digitised from those same records. Through this combination of image and music, Frederick creates a reflective space in which the viewer can experience the enduring emotional effect of records and their music - an effect that can take you to a different time and place.

Frederick prints directly from the record, calling attention to the record’s physicality-and conversely the disembodiment of music bought online. It is this physicality that people bond with, and perhaps one of the reasons that they are still so valued by many people. Some of the magic of records lies in the fact that you can love it to death by playing it over and over again, as the sound quality and surface gradually wears away.

Excerpt from essay by Annika Harding; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.

 

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