What if we didn’t have a word for day and a word for night – if we didn’t split our understanding into two apparent opposites? What if instead, we paid close attention to the subtle qualities of certain moments throughout the 24 hour cycle; the period just as the moon appears over the horizon, the moment the temperature drops before the dawn, or the changing light as rainclouds obscure the sun. What happens when we immerse ourselves in an unfamiliar environment? What is it about stepping into the unknown that simultaneously embodies hope and fear, dreams and terrors? Can we map our experience of night and day in the way we map the earth and the night sky?
Jessica Brooke Anderson and Ellis Hutch have created a contemplative installation of screen prints, drawings and artist books made whilst working as Artists in Residence at Megalo Print Studio and Gallery. Their work has been created in response to a recent journey into the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Their research site – the rich and fascinating Arkaroola Station – is a wilderness area marked by stunning ridges of sedimentary rock and alive with the stories of the original Indigenous inhabitants and marked by the complicated history of colonial settlement.
Into this environment the artists have brought their own interests in how humans encounter unfamiliar spaces, how we respond to the environment around us and view it through our existing lenses. Learning to navigate the physical landscape we question our individual identities, our relationships with our surroundings and the layers of cultural and social conditioning that can both aid us and blinker our ability to perceive.
About the artists
Ellis Hutch (AUS) and Jessica Anderson (USA) had their first conversation on a snow-covered road in rural Finland. As they walked they discovered mutual interests in mindfulness, embodied practice and practice-based research. Since that meeting at the Arteles Creative Centre where they were both undertaking artist residencies around the theme of Silence, Existence, Awareness; Ellis and Jessica have continued their dialogue and are investigating their intersecting interests through a process-based collaboration.
Image: Ellis Hutch, Dreams and Terrors (installation detail), 2016; image courtesy of the artist
I am fascinated by ruptures in perception and their potential to prompt new and unpredictable visual experiences. I take patterns from Islamic geometric decoration and use competing visual cues to hold these structures on the verge of collapse with tension between flatness and relief, between abstract form and spatial illusion, between the centre and the infinite repeat, between lines collected into shapes and lines as single temporal trails.
I am interested in manipulating these forms to generate permanent states of doubt. Paintings which cannot be seen at once but which dissolve and reform as meditations on the impossibility of knowledge.
Image: Shilly Shally, 2016, acrylic on laser cut ply, 60 x 50 cm; image courtesy of the artist
Animal Magnetism continues Davidson’s investigation into the alluring power screen based technologies have on contemporary culture. For this exhibition Davidson samples 1950s footage of techniques used by hypnotists. The source material has been edited, looped and reconfigured to form multiscreen assemblages. Animal Magnetism aims to draw attention to the mesmeric appeal of the screen, asking what it means to think, see and filter affect through the digital and to question ways in which new technologies are impacting our relationship with perception, social relations and reality.
Shanti Shea An's work explores the role of intimacy and touch in painting. Working in both figuration and abstraction, she looks at how images of love are both experienced and “read” through our understanding of language and narrative. Other Loves is a collection of recent paintings and drawings on theme of love as both an emotion and an activity. While these have been informed by historical interpretations, they are also reflections on the contemporary experience of romance.
Image: Laetitia's Boy, 2016, oil on canvas; 28 x 26 cm. Courtesy of the artist
An exploration of storytelling, narrative, and the vehicles we use to tell them. Focused on memories real, borrowed and fictional, and the line we draw between truth and fiction.
My paintings are relics, re-recorded images from the recesses of my mind, the peripheries of photographs, the trailing edge of a piece of fabric, the abrupt interruption of one surface by another. They are thoughts in colour, lines, shapes and how these fall together. They are experiments. They are questions.
Bleached, saturated, uncomfortably laden with pattern, just a little bit tired, my paintings speak of their working process, the scars of their birth on their face. I tread a delicate line between beauty and ugliness – I am baited and seduced by the idea of creating work that is both. In this way I interrogate my own judgements about what successful art is, I celebrate frailty, expose what is vulnerable, share something private, question perception.
The Divided Works pay homage to minimalism and the process of construction. These compositions incorporate building materials where a horizontal element is introduced to allude to the horizon line. The main idea in this series was to stick to a set of rules around proportion and let the surface of the work convey a sense of space.
Image: A Place to Wait, 2015, contact on board, 685 x 427mm
Immersed by Kate Bender is exploration of colour, the representation of light and the perception of space through the traditional medium of oil paint on canvas. Elements of illusionism are merged with abstraction creating a degree of playfulness in the immediate visual and aesthetic experience, along with a deeper philosophical and metaphorical reading of the works. The paintings radiate with a visual energy that comes from not only the contrasting colour, but also the ambiguity of the nature of the spaces depicted. The paintings contain moments of energy and tranquility, the colours are intense yet balanced by degrees of understatement.
Image: Dance, 2016, oil on canvas; 122 x 91 cm
Using an organic approach to making, Clare Jackson and Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts create an exhibition of ceramics, textiles, installation and works on paper. As the title suggests, the exhibition explores tensions between various elements and concepts. Erratic marks are paired with fluid watercolours, soft textile sculptures with solid ceramic vessels, muted tones with vibrant colours. The two artists look at the ways in which their works align and depart, where they inform each other and where they look inwards. While G-P is influenced by the impact of personal and collective experiences, Jackson is fuelled by a desire to retain amorphous moments in time.
Image: Courtesy of Clare Jackson
✌GVCCI☯THVVG✌ is an irl exhibition that explores the representation and misrepresentation of women within cyber-culture, particularly focusing on the cyber-gaze, online consumption and the increasing blurs between cyber-femininity and cyber-masculinity.
Image: ▽▽ CTRL ▽▽, 2016, video still, image courtesy of the artist