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In 1839 on the announcement of the daguerreotype process, largely considered to be the birth of photography, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre wrote a broadsheet announcing the invention. Part of it reads as follows: “The daguerreotype is not an instrument to be used to draw nature, but a chemical and physical process which gives her [nature] the ability to reproduce herself” implying an ontological connection between nature and image. When exposed to light the daguerreotype copper plate, coated with silver, captures everything before it in great detail, no matter how near or far, but in a reversed mirror image of the subject. It was often reported that the daguerreotype revealed things that the photographer could not see with their own eyes suggesting mystical attributes. Seeing a daguerreotype is also contingent on light conditions. The object must be held at a certain angle in order to see the elusive image in the highly reflective, mirror-like surface; the image appearing to be either a negative or a positive depending on whether a light or dark background is reflected in the photograph. The labour intensive and alchemical process produced unique images that were mounted under glass in elaborate cases in order to prevent oxidization of the silvered surface and to enable the precious object to be carried on one’s person.
Although a painter, Coen Young has turned to the elusive chemical processes of photography to reconsider the gesture toward image making that Daguerre implies is both designated and ontological. Using a photographic methodology, Young applies various media and chemicals in multiple layers such as gesso, marble dust and enamel onto a sheet of cotton rag paper; the last being silver nitrate, which is applied, fixed and washed just like a sheet of photographic paper. Each process leaves its trace on the paper, evident at the edges, and evokes a sense of the object’s history as it slowly reveals itself to the viewer. The result is a highly polished surface that claims a certain objectness that is also its antithesis, revealed in the tension between the surface and the ‘image’, which is only manifested in the reflection. The works gesture towards an experience or temporal moment that like a memory remains ungraspable and somewhat illusive.
The idiosyncratic nature of the surface is made evident in the viewer’s attempt to contemplate the image, an image that is brought to the object by the viewer in their corporeal reflection but also emerges, unbidden from the surface itself. But this image is not a picture per se, but rather a contradictory, ever-changing manifestation of what we expect to see. In fact, if these mirror studies have a subject at all it is contradiction itself. They are both paintings and photographs, images and non-images, illusions and objects and the ‘imperfections’ in the works bring the viewer back to the surface, which like a daguerreotype is pressed up to the glass as a reminder of its mutability. The works’ refusal to translate as a static image is evident in any attempt to capture them in photographs and in the constant struggle between surface and depth. A perceived emptiness in the images also presents a contradiction because it asks us what it is we expect to see in what we think of as an unmediated visual experience. A mirror, or looking glass – is in and of itself – empty.
It contains no signifying information and all that it is – is what we – the ‘looker’ bring to it; and without light a mirror is but a blinded instrument full of potential. The unpredictable nature of Young’s mirror studies challenge this perceived emptiness in the uncertain tension of the surface, and by uncertain I am referring here to the quiet assertiveness the images have in their claim for autonomy. For while they are made at the same time, the crafted nature of the process combined with the artist’s intentionality, creates a series in which the images are the same but different. Even in ambient light the image persists as the reflective surface captures that which surrounds it.
The uncertainty of the image is what drives us to keep looking, a process Young thinks of as ‘expectation’, a desire to see and to know, which is often thwarted and complicated by a surface that denies any medium specificity. In the age of the post-medium condition, in which the pursuit of a purity of medium is seen as antiquated, various commentators ask What is photography? What is painting? This question regarding categorisation of the medium is prevalent in the work of the German painter Gerhard Richter who provocatively claims that he paints photographs: “I’m not trying to imitate a photograph; I’m trying to make one. And if I disregard the assumption that a photograph is a piece of paper exposed to light, then I am practicing photography by other means.” Young too is not ‘making’ a photograph in the way that we think of a ‘photograph’, with a camera and a lens, but rather evokes in many ways the earliest ventures of image making such as the camera obscura where the image remained unfixed; and also references other contemporary iterations of non-lens based media.
While Young’s previous experimentations with the photographic process were reminiscent of the Claude glass these new evocations are closer to the reflective surface of the daguerreotype. The Claude glass was a tinted, blackened convex mirror used to produce a stable, reflected image reminiscent of the paintings of Claude Lorraine, which gave a rather weak reflection that dulled the details, while colours were toned like those of varnished paintings. The glass was used by travellers who would hold it in their hand so as to see a reversed image of the landscape behind them and for the purpose of composing pictures. The pictorial properties of the Claude glass, reducing everything to a visual equivalence as Geoffrey Batchen puts it, are strikingly like those of the photograph. As one aficionado commented in 1839 on seeing a daguerreotype “The best idea I can give of the effect produced is, by saying that it is nearly the same as that of views taken by reflection in a black mirror.” Although Young’s current mirror studies evoke a sense of a ‘looking glass’ they are neither faithful to projecting an unmediated sense of the real, nor are they stable in their reflective qualities. Rather, they are unpredictable and at times disturbing objects, which will continue to intrigue and mesmerise as we look for that which lies beyond the surface.
Donna West Brett
 Beaumont Newhall, ‘Eighteen thirty-nine: the birth of photography’, in Photography: discovery and invention, J Paul Getty Museum, 1990, 19.
 See Norman Bryson, ‘The gaze in the expanded field’, in Hal Foster ed. Vision and visuality, Dia Art Foundation
Discussions in Contemporary Culture no 2, Bay Press, Seattle, 1988.
 See Rosemary Hawker, ‘Idiom Post-medium: Richter Painting Photography’, Oxford Art Journal 32.2 2009, 263–280. See also David Green ed. Where is the photograph? and Diarmuid Costello and Margaret Iverson, Photography after conceptual art.
 Gerhard Richter in an interview with Rolf Schön, 1972, Hans-Ulrich Obrist ed. The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings 1962–1993 (Thames and Hudson, Anthony d’Offay Gallery: London, 1995) 73.
 First Mirrors. 2014 at William Wright Artist Projects, Sydney
 Geoffrey Batchen, Burning with desire: the conception of photography, MIT Press, Mass 1997, 73.
 Batchen, 74
Jessica Mais Wright
We keep memory through codes and rhythms and rings of information, which we ritually repeat. We are ritual creatures, beyond the superstition of myth; ritual is part of our intelligence; it is about taking possession; of space, of territory, of ideas, into oneself. In the possession of space comes the need to belong, to take rest from constant travel, to invest domesticity somewhere in some small form, to order and divide and sector, to designate, to organize.
Of all forms of organization, pattern is the most primal. Pattern is everywhere; it is the function by which most material things are homogenized by humans. It is a small concession made to the ritual inherent in our intelligence. Pattern is what designates possession of a space. Pattern is the simplest thing; a line repeated over and over again, a trace of an imprint stylized.
' When I first arrived in London in 2009 I realized how far away from home I was; my surroundings were comfortable enough, not particularly exotic, yet the space offered no rest from an incessant sense of spinning, heavily, too fast, as if my ears were full of water. I went to the library and buried my head in a book of Matisse’s paintings. I went to the cinema I bought a ticket to Pina by Wim Wenders. I watched with 3D glasses as a mirage of a red silk flag materialized into a ring of dancers, I watched a couple spinning in front of a black sea punctured by a rock lapping onto a wooden theatre stage. I walked through a green park and sat on a bench in the sun. For a few moments these places were home. If considered universally all humans would have the same reason to find theses experiences comforting, yet, as I went to my dorm the red flag kept spinning in my head, then as I looked out the window I sat watching the shadows of the trees move as the light faded, then, later, I dreamt of the red studio and of the sparkle of the waves around the pirouetting dancers. The next day I bought a one meter square of wallpaper printed with red clubs with an orange background and some cardboard. I copied the print onto the cardboard. Quietly my head stopped spinning. A simple red line … '
Pattern is the simplest thing; a line repeated over and over again, a trace of an imprint stylized and reproduced. In my sculpture I use the line of the wire to cut space. I create a complex armature, so there can be a liminal difference between what is contained and what is without. In each sculpture is a dense leaded cloud of tiny thorny spaces and yet also the wires themselves draw in space taking in the air around, making delicate filigree. In my paintings a single drop is made again and again, pushed around in forms, then copied, painted back, re-edged, in others a cloud of dust is heaped and ordered and lacquered into place. Each one of these works in my exhibition is its own constellation, a small, sectioned piece of ordered, contained space.
Jessica Mais Wright
Printaniere. 2013, Oil on Canvas. 110x 110 cm
Iridis. 2013 Oil On Canvas. 110 x 110 cm
Dusk. 2014. Oil On Canvas. 150 x 150 cm
Douglas Sheerer was born in 1946 Como, Italy
Sheerer's work examines perception, constructs, inter-activity and visual phenomena through various mediums which include photography, holography, sound, printmaking and interactive constructions.
Douglas Sheerer was educated and resident in England from 1947 -1969. In June 1969 he travelled to South Africa and later onto Sydney, Australia arriving Christmas Day 1969. He left Sydney for Perth in January 1970 and travelled to Germany in 1979 settling back in Perth, Australia with Magda, marrying in 1973
Douglas Sheerer studied Art and Design at the Western Australia Institute of Technology W.A.I.T (now Curtin University) from 1983-84 completing a BA in Fine Art (Majoring in Printmaking). He completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art in 1986 and an MA (Interactive Computer Image Processing - New Media) in 1992 and from 1994 - 1997 he undertook Ph.D studies at Curtin University, (Beyond the Gaze - A Critical Evaluation of Interactive Art Practice).
He has held five solo exhibitions and participated in over thirty group exhibitions. His works are held in both public and private collections including Curtin University Perth, The Australian War Memorial Canberra, The Janet Holmes á Court Collection, Central Institute of Technology, Perth and Art Bank. He has also been the recipient of various grants and commissions in Western Australia including a Department for The Arts/ Department for State Development WA/ A.R.X / A.A.M Inaugural Artist Computer Technology Exchange Grant - A.I.R in Thailand in 1992. He is widely travelled.
“Sometimes found words are the most pure because they have nothing to do with you. I take things as I find them. A lot of these things come from the noise of everyday life.”
“Every artist’s work has a title. Titles are my work.”
Marinka Bozzec’s artistic practice has evolved from a longstanding concern with the use of language, and how it permeates every aspect of human experience. Language enables us to communicate, educate, and to create, yet it may also be used to discriminate, oppress, and enslave. Such a powerful tool, yet almost invisible because of its sheer all-pervasiveness - words are everywhere, working for purposes beneficent, benign, and malign. They are our slaves as well as our masters. Fonts are the clothing that words use to make themselves not only visible or legible, but attention seeking objects of desire. Fonts dress up our words in costumes sometimes exotic, sometimes workmanlike; this typographical raiment, may it be floridly decorative or minimally severe, repackages our messages, whether poetry or propaganda, and sends out other, more subtle messages of its own.
Language and font, message and medium, are crucial to Marinka Bozzec’s practice, as well as an ongoing engagement with an atypical artist’s media, coloured pencil. More often associated with children’s drawings or commercial illustration, coloured pencil is usually seen as a kind of flippant cousin of other, more “serious” drawing media such as charcoal or ink. Bozzec challenges traditional beliefs about the nature of drawing itself through not only her unconventional choice of media, but in her deliberately flat, deadpan surfaces. These drawings boast no mark – making, no obvious texture, seemingly no trace of an “artist’s touch” – indeed, they are as blankly immaculate as the anodyne products of an inkjet printer. This invisibly meticulous technique, a total denial of many of the beloved tenets of drawing, combined with her collector’s instinct for gleaning found phrases, give Bozzec’s work a kind of restrained intensity, a slow punch to the eyes and minds of the audience.
The text in the drawings is the remaining white of the paper – the drawing is literally “drawn around” the negative space of the words, a highly laborious process.
A film noir aesthetic of eternally falling darkness, hard shadows, and equally hardboiled sentiments is suggested by the interplay of iconic images of disasters, melancholy, and menace with lugubrious snippets gleaned from novels, poems, movies, song lyrics & popular idioms. The phrases, severed from their original contexts in written and spoken language, take on a mysterious and poetic new existence beyond the ideas and meanings they once signified. Hovering in illusory skies and before minimal tonal gradations of black, impinging themselves upon photorealist imagery, or scrolling in front of silhouetted buildings, figures, statues, and aircraft, they now occupy an ambiguous space of slippage between the aesthetic and poetic properties of language and its more obvious, everyday intentions to communicate and describe the human condition.
Marinka Bozzec 2013.
Jacky Redgate; Born 1955, London, United Kingdom
Jacky Redgate immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1967. She studied at the South Australian School of Art (1976–80), completing postgraduate studies at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, in 1998. She currently lives and works in Sydney and lectures at the University of Wollongong.
Redgate’s work operates on a number of different registers and between different fields. Her longstanding interest in geometric systems, logic, spatial relationships, optics and codes of representation is explored through a rich interdisciplinary practice, preoccupied with themes of memory and recollection.
Redgate has a 25-year exhibition history, with representation in numerous prestigious national and international exhibitions, including Australian Perspecta (1985, 1987–89) and the Biennale of Sydney (1986, 1988, 1990). During the 1990s, Redgate also exhibited in two major Australian photographic exhibitions in Sydney: ‘Photography is Dead! Long Live Photography!’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1996, and ‘What is this thing called photography?’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1999). In 1993–94, she participated in ‘Looking at Seeing and Reading’, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales and in 1996–97, ‘a la vez Narelle Jubelin at the same time’, Art Gallery of Ontario, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of York University, Canada.
The major exhibition, ‘Jacky Redgate: Survey 1980–2003’, was exhibited in Adelaide at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA) in 2004; the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2005; and (together with new work) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2005–06.
Jacky Redgate’s many awards include a twelve-month Overseas Fellowship Residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (1987), where she lived and worked for two years, and a six-month residency at the Power Studio, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (1996–97). She is represented in Australia’s major public galleries, as well as private and corporate collections nationally and internationally. A monograph on her work was published by CACSA in 2005.
Light (throw Mirrors)
Light Throw (Mirrors) #3, 2010
Light Throw (Mirrors) #6, 2011
Light Throw (Mirrors) #11, 2012
The conceptual parameters of Raskopoulos’ work are concerned with identity, the fragmented body, language, translation and transcription. Her work explores the margins of photography and video, an interdisciplinary zone that synthesizes performance, writing, drawing and installation.
Raskopoulos has been exhibiting for 30 years in prominent national and international exhibitions: Read your lips Australian Centre for Photography, National Artists’ Self –Portrait Prize University of Queensland Art Museum (2013). Footnotes Art Gallery of New South Wales (2012). Image Anxiety PHotoEspaña, Madrid´s International Photography and Visual Arts Festival (2012). Light Works National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2012). MUTE Art Bridge Gallery @ 798 Beijing, China - Shen Shaomin & Eugenia Raskopoulos (2011). Nightcomers Project, 10th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2007). with(out) voice Photosynkyria AAS Gallery,Thessaloniki,Greece (2000). Fragments, Lunami Gallery Tokyo, Japan (1997).Sweet Dreams, Australian Perspecta 1993, A Satellite Exhibition, TheBalmoral, Homeworld, Prospect (1993). Ironworks 88, Santa Fe Center of Photography, Santa Fe, New Mexico (1988).
A selection of awards received by Raskopoulos are 2006 MoMA Scholarship for The Feminist Future: Conference MoMA New York. 2004 Western Sydney's Fellowship NSW Ministry for the Arts. 2003 The Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, Art Gallery of NSW Residency. 2000 Project Grant: New Work VACF Australia Council. 1999 Women's Research Scheme Grant University of Western Sydney. In 2012 she won he prestigious Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award. Her work is represented in Australia’s major public galleries, as well as private and corporate collections nationally and internationally.
Born 1959, Svitavy, Czech Republic Eugenia Raskopoulos immigrated with her family back to Greece at the end of 1959 and then to Sydney in 1963. She studied at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney (1977–79), completing her Masters of Fine Art at the College of Fine Arts, The University of New South Wales, in 1993. In 2011 she completed her PhD at the College of Fine Arts, The University of New South Wales. Raskopoulos taught at the University of Western Sydney from 1988 – 2006. She currently lives and works in Sydney.
Hilarie Mais' works are the result per se of the logic of their own structural being: their complex visual orchestrations are not pre-conceived or otherwise externally determined: each has occurred, the resultant image-motif of the work's intrinsic structural logic, a new kind of abstract visualisation, informed according to the formational principles of natural occurrence. They are thus both autogenous and abiogenetic to the extent of forging a form of 'equivalent' sensory experience from non-living materials.
The outcome is not predetermined but an evolution upon the decisions made during the construction of the form. As in an organic growth, the evolving pattern is a display, an outward manifestation, of the growth. The structural decisions made have an ongoing implication in the evolution of the pattern: the sculpture is literally grown and the pattern reflects the growth system; a process of steps and responses - as in a natural form responding to its environment. Therefore, the resultant patterns, sequences, are not mere phenomenology but the expression of the form, which in turn produces the visual 'phenomenological' outcome involving the eyes/brains need to find and detect identifying pattern. *1
Much of Mais' work of the past decade has been influenced by her observation and analysis of natural growth processes, the principles of which inform the order and displacement of her visual constructions, be they three-dimensional objects or paintings. In similar manner to the ways in which natural forms such as shells, leaves et cetera will come about by means of specific genetically determined growth sequences, so do these works programatically 'grow' into their own visually distinctive, sometimes ruptured outcomes. These works, with their obvious structural irregularities, scale and directional variability, perform the determinant functions of their own visual ordering as, concertedly, both instigator and modus.
RES, 2010 and Mist III, 2012, the most visually extreme, least structurally homogeneous examples of Mais current works, are at the interstice of three spheres of engagement: her long and abiding involvement with the historic culture of abstraction, with the processes of growth in nature and, not least, with the nature of the human visual Gestalt. In essence these recent works are truly 'Primary Structures', but in a new developmental sense within her oeuvre, a form of Abstraction made actual through its interaction with the two hard-wired species survival spheres, the psycho-biological human Gestalt - the perception of nature - and the generative unitary systemic within all nature, Growth. Where this work differs significantly from other forms of recent 'Abstract' art is in its cogent realisation of third effects, the accumulative in the human visual response; our innate capacity to identify and complete fragmentary or 'incomplete' perceptual data.
Mais developmental history traverses and intersects the history of modern and post-modern developments in the field of abstraction: since the time of its beginning development in the early 20th century in Russia, the practices surrounding and developing from Constructivism; a core maintained within her work's ever-expanding variability. Of particular relevance in this regard is the work of the English Constructive artist Kenneth Martin, whose drawings provided renewed insight into the previously unforseen possibilities of systemic approaches in the realisation of spatial constructs. An important coevally related source of formative stimulation came from the American Minimalists and their attitude to 'democratic' materials and structural approaches. In a number of ways her recent development of the systemic in art - its form and meaning associative - simultaneously retrieve and extend from her formative works realised in the 1970s in New York, affirming the cyclic character of her working evolution, of constantly revisiting and expanding upon earlier ideas and propositions/developments. Since the 1970s Mais work has been "in the post-minimal stance, the feminisation of Minimalism; the imperfect, the hand made, incorporating the presence of the artist; and autobiographical"*2.
*1. Artist's statement 2010
*2. Excerpt from conversations between the artist and William Wright
Stephen Little is a contemporary artist whose practice explores alternatives to traditional models and orthodoxies commonly employed in the classification of painting.Instead of relying on pictorial traditions or painterly conventions to dictate outcomes Little highlights painting’s potential by reworking it through other media. Having side-stepped traditional materials and methodologies Little draws on everyday objects, materials and associations to deliberate on painting today.
Little has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Recent presentations of his work include Backside Front William Wright // Artists, Sydney (2014); 20/200 Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2014); Hal Project, Space Mass, Seoul, Korea (2013); Test Pattern University Art gallery, University of Sydney (2013); Inside Out William Wright // Artists, Sydney (2012); Redlands Westpac Art Prize National Art School Gallery, Sydney (2012); Test Pattern Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne (2012); Painting in Transit Goldsmiths College, University of London (2010); Absorption (initiated through ‘One & Other’ - Antony Gormley’s ‘Fourth Plinth’ project) Trafalgar Square, London (2009).
In January of 2004 one of his art works was left on the surface of Mars with the NASA Mars rovers, making history as the first work of art to be left on another planet.
Little received his Bachelor of Visual Arts from Nepean College of Advanced Education, a Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts, and Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, and a Research Doctorate (PhD) from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Little is currently Head of Painting at Australia’s National Art School in Sydney.
Project. (Un) Conscious Spaces.
My work engages with notions of photography, sculpture and installation as a means of critically exploring our relationship with visual culture. I am concerned with what lies between these areas and how they interrelate.
I am interested in the cross cultural equivalents or slippages occurring between the media representation of the deserts of Australia and those of the USA. I am curious about the parallel visual narratives which are often common to them and which inform our mythic imagination as scientific fact, historical spectacle or pop cultural fiction. Our understanding of and relationship with these landscapes owes much to a rich vein of photographic and film culture in regard to their creation in the mind of the viewer as remote, strange and transformative metaphysical places. Places both real and imagined.
This series of works bridges the photographic and the sculptural -photographically reconstructing huge fragments of desert terrain and displacing virtual fragments into museum spaces to create massive mural scale photo / object works. These hybrid works break with the formalising colonial eye prevalent in conventional landscape imagery and also question the ambiguous notion of objectivity.
These images are similar to those made by NASA satellites when mapping distant alien landscapes. I have digitally scanned across the near middle ground of desert terrains to create giant panoramic fragments reconstructed from multiple overlapping images. These composite images do not conform to any normalising compositional framing. The images exterior configuration assumes abstract geometric shapes which traverse the field of view at odd angles - content and image shape are unrelated and contradictory. The result simultaneously presents both a detailed high resolution map of the desert surface framed within a jagged abstract sculptural fragment. A fragment which also represents a physical record of the camera’s eye as it tracks and vectors across the terrain.
The use of large scale to realise this work is critical. Scale creates a sense of physical awareness, it generates a measure influencing the way the body responds to an image. Scale creates a perceptual dynamic between reactive and cognitive space, it forges a link between the work and the viewer while engaging with the physicality of the gallery space.
These images, as Lewis Carroll proposed ‘use the country itself, as its own map’. Though they are fractured analogues of their originating sites, they explore the notion of objectivity as both a representational and physical experience. Each work presents an interiority where content is intimately described in crystalline detail, while at a distance the work has the physical presence of a massive object - sculptural and abstract. These are artworks which can be looked into or looked at – simultaneously objective and subjective.
It is not my intention to reconcile these perceptual experiences, but to throw them into question. It is the contradictory rupture between image and object which intrigues me. As much as they map and dramatize remote continental deserts, this work also maps the conceptual terrain between photography and the object. The works are meant to engage with the viewer and to generate paradoxical questions regarding the conscious and unconscious relationships which flow between the body, the art work and the installation site. Rather than simply being aesthetic creations they are artworks for contemplation.
2011: BFA (Hons.) National Art School 2002: Statement of Attainment, Sydney Gallery School. 2001: BA, Macquarie University
2011: Storrier Onslow Paris Residency for 2012 William Fletcher Foundation Grant Basil and Muriel Hooper Scholarship
2010: John McCaughey Prize for Painting Parkers Sydney Fine Art Framing Award Shortlisted for “John Olsen Life Drawing Prize”
2009:" Shortlisted for “John Olsen Life Drawing Prize” 2008: Winner of the “Jocelyn Maughan Sketch Book Prize” 2002: Highly Commended, Meadowbank TAFE Art Prize
Sydney Gallery School, Private collections in Australia, USA and Sweden
Anne Graham: Born 1949, Buxton, Derbyshire, England, UK.
Anne Graham has held over 23 solo exhibitions, with representation in many prestigious national and international exhibitions, including the 2003 Echigo-Tsumari Necklace project, organised by Art Front Gallery, Tokyo; 'Construction and Process', an exhibition featuring artists from 25 countries held in Poland in 2000; and the 6th Biennale of Sydney: 'Origins, Originality + Beyond' (1986). In 1995, she held a solo exhibition at Tokyo's Hinode-Machi Gallery as part of the residency exhibition programme. She is the recipient of many grants and awards, including the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Merit Award for Passage, 2000, located in Martin Place as part of the City of Sydney Sculpture Walk
Anne Graham has had a long commitment to studying the association between memory and things. At one time she worked with Alzheimer’s patients in an old people’s home. She found that although they normally remembered nothing of their past once she put an object that they had brought from home into their hand they began to talk. Detailed stories emerged of where the object came from who gave it to them and sometimes they talked enthusiastically about collections of such things they once had for example tea cups, hair brushes etc. Anne was able to make installation portraits of these women using their objects, photographs from their youth and current ones that Anne took of them.
Research into memory strongly supports the crucial role of things experienced in the world about us in the present for creating recollection of things past. Proust already knew this when he wrote about the powerful effect of the smell of a the Madeleine, in evoking the presence of his favourite aunt. Things recalled through bodily sensation have a very different level of immanence than memories recorded as text or even image. Indeed new research tells us that memory resides in the cells of the body not just in the brain. In fact language and conscious thought are responsible for only 2% of the activity of the brain. 98% of what goes on happens prior to our becoming conscious of it. It is this that makes an art of installation which activates memory through bodily response before language kicks in so very powerful.
Materials and objects bring together experiences of place but they also initiate narratives that are in the hands of the participating observer.
For Helga Groves, the first step in creating a new body of work is to seek out a pristine natural environment. In this case it is Wilsons Promontory, located on the far eastern tip of Victoria. In a practice that spans more than thirty years, Groves’ artistic endeavour is not to replicate nature. Instead, the experience of “specific elements within the macroscopic environment” works as a springboard for a sustained investigation, both academic and aesthetic.
Helga Groves engages here with the processes of abstract painting, drawing, collage and animation to explore geomorphic movement and the natural phenomena of lichen. The exhibition forms part of a broader investigation of lichen from the two extremes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The nine paintings from the Optical Terrane series each consist of a heptagonal surface of wax, pigment and medium on board. These irregularly shaped supports are a defining feature of the non-objective tradition and were applied to maximum effect by Imi Knoebel in the 1977 tribute 24 colours for Blinky. In Groves’ case, the heptagonal boards also suggest the natural form of a rotating rock. It is a conundrum the artist revisits again and again: how to interpret nature through the methods and tools of non-objective abstraction.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, Macro Terrane consists of folded pigment prints of the original photographs from Wilson’s Promontory. The geometric configuration of three interlocking diamonds consists of multiple folded squares.
In the paintings, the sequential positioning implies clockwise movement through the rotation of the work. Conversely, in an animation of a two second rotation of rocks entitled Leap Seconds, the orientation is counter-clockwise. Nearby, in a sequence of the delicately drawn Icelandic lava rocks that are also the subject of the animation, twenty-four works on paper are embedded within concertina books. The significance of the number twenty-four as required for rotations per second in an animation and hours in a day is used here to indicate extreme shifts of time.
When an artist navigates the ends of the earth to source materials, it follows that there will be striking shifts in time and space manifested in the work. Rotation, and its metaphorical relationship with the earth, is a strong factor in the development of the exhibition.
Through the expansive use of materials and shifting implications of time, the exhibition is a highly attuned sensory experience. Echoing the very structure of lichen, this project is itself a symbiosis of nature and aesthetics.
Excerpts from essay by Jane O’Neill July 2015.
Helga GROVES: Curriculum Vitae
Born 1961 Ayr, Queensland, Australia
2000 Master of Arts (Visual Arts), Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
1988 Graduate Diploma (Visual Arts), Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
1987 Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
2014 Suspended Animation, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne 2013 Geomorphic, Milani Gallery, Brisbane 2011 Looking through an ocean of air, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
Maria Fernanda Cardoso is a leading Latin American and Australian artist who lives and works in Sydney. She graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University, USA in 1990. In 1995 she was catapulted to worldwide fame with the Cardoso Flea Circus when it was premiered at the San Francisco Exploratorium, an art and science institution in California. She has exhibited in over 25 countries world in institutions as prestigious as NY MoMA, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, PS1, New York, the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Fundacion La Caixa in Barcelona, the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid. Last year her large scale project the Museum of Copulatory Organs was the highlight at the 18th Biennale of Sydney, attracting crowds of over a quarter million visitors and enormous media attention including a half our ABC Artscape documentary titled The Wonderful World of Professor Cardoso
Her introduction to Australia was at the Sydney Festival, when she presented the Cardoso Flea Circus at the Sydney Opera House for a sold-out season in 2000. The same year, the New York Museum of Modern Art commissioned her to make a major installation of Cemetery/ Vertical Garden which consisted of a 45 mt long wall sprouting 136,000 plastic flowers. This was part of MoMA’s millennium show, Modern Starts: People Things Places.
In 2004 she represented Colombia at the Venice Biennale, exhibiting a large installation of starfish titled Woven Water, which is now part of the collection of the National Art Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, where she had an extensive solo show titled Zoomorphia in 2003.
Recently her work with Emu feathers has earned her two prizes: one for her Fashion and Mimesis exhibition at Rodman Hall, Canada, and another for the exhibition Dead or Alive at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.
Selected collections include the Tate Gallery, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; the National Art Gallery of Australia, Canberra;.the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Miami Art Museum; BLLA Bogota, Colombia; Museum of Modern Art, Bogota Colombia; the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; Gold Coast Art Gallery; Tamworth Regional Art Gallery; and the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery She is also collected by several ARTNews top100 private collections including the Cisneros Collection, Caracas/New York; the Ella Fontanal Cisneros Collection, Miami/Madrid; The Bruce and Diane Halle Collection Arizona; the Leonora and Jimmy Belilty Collection, Caracas/Paris; and the Daros Collection, Zurich/Rio de Janeiro.
Dennis Del Favero
Del Favero's work explores the interrelationship between the human and the natural worlds1. His work evokes the ways in which these interrelationships, like pentimenti, endure beyond our attempt to deny them. Pentimenti refers to the visible trace of an earlier painting beneath a layer of paint on a canvas, typically found during restoration or x-ray 2. His work is particularly interested in such 'hauntings', i.e. how human and natural interrelationships, like pentimenti, reveal themselves as involuntary embodiments.3 In recent work he has focused on how one might live in a world increasingly haunted by the unacknowledged interrelationship between the human world and its habitat 4, 5, 6.
The major retrospective, 'Dennis Del Favero: Fantasmi', was exhibited in Hannover at Sprengel Museum in 2004 accompanied by a book published by the Sprengel Museum.
Dennis Del Favero's thirty six awards include ten fellowships and four artist in residencies, including at Neu Galerie Graz. His work forms part of Australia’s major public collections, as well as private and corporate collections nationally and internationally. He is represented in Europe by Galerie Marion Scharmann, Cologne and Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich.
His work has been extensively exhibited internationally in individual exhibitions for museums and galleries such as ViaFarini, Milan and Neue Galerie, Graz and included in curated group exhibitions such as Kriegszustand, Battle of the Nations War Memorial, Leipzig 1996 (joint project with Jenny Holzer), Future Cinema, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2002, Videonale, Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2005, Artescienza: Spazio deformato, Casa dell'Architettura, Rome, 2006, International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville, 2008, International Film Festival Amsterdam, 2009, Sydney Film Festival, 2011, Film Cologne for Art Cologne, 2014.
Dennis Del Favero is born of Cadorin parents who migrated to Australia from the Dolomites, Northern Italy, in 1948. He studied philosophy at the University of Sydney, 1977, completing postgraduate degrees in art at the University of Sydney, 1985, the University of New South Wales, 1989 and the University of Technology, 1999. He currently lives and works in Sydney and is an ARC Professorial Fellow and Director of the iCinema Research Centre and Deputy Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales. He is also Visiting Professor at the ZKM, Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, City University of Hong Kong and IUAV University of Venice.
1. Ross Gibson. 2003. Reverberation: Remembrance and the Moving Image. Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Moving Image. p. 53
2. The New Oxford Dictionary of English
3. Jill Bennett. (2004) Fantasmi. Hannover: Sprengel Museum. p. 80
4. Sabine Sielke. (2008) "Surfacing Depths", in Un_Imaginable, ed. D.Del Favero, U. Frohne and P. Weibel, Ostfildern/Hatje Cantz. p. 19
5. Terry Smith. (2012) "Transnational Virtuality: New Media Art, Contemporary Concerns" in Jaynie Anderson (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Australian Art, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The “subject is as much painting itself as the object he renders.” Through Beard’s unique rendition of objects and subjects, he questions the very notions of authenticity in painting and the representation of image. Beard’s artistic practice explores concepts of sight and vision, perception and illusion. The paintings’ surfaces, after first inspection and then upon closer viewing, evolve over time; subtleties come to light in the layers of waxy paint and forms materialise taking on new shapes and deeper meanings.
“It is certainly not just a matter of ‘reductive’ or ‘additive’ processes, of choosing between ‘heavily encrusted surfaces’ or thin layers of paint. It is a question throughout of maintaining the picture plane against the threat of disintegration. This is the constant objective that underlies Beard’s resourceful mode of painting.”
(Stephen Bann, “Saving the Plane”, John Beard Other Faces, Fine Art Society, London, 2007)
From the mid 1990’s onwards, Beard’s work has been dominated by two complementary modes of subject matter – landscape and portraiture. During his extended stay in Portugal in the early 1990’s, he began to produce a series of paintings in which the majestic rocky outcrop of Adraga in a constantly shifting sea invariably formed the central motif. Beard states: “The rock has an impregnable majesty, a lifeless finality animate and metamorphosed through light. The light reveals the energy and force of the sea – an orchestration of submission and reaffirmation. A continuum of resolution and dissolution of an image.” (John Beard, 1994) Beard’s intensity of focus on the singularity of the form, transformed an inanimate rock into an identity.
“The sea was like pigment, I realised when I started painting. I realised that paint to me was really like the sea. There’s this pliable material that could be thick and lumpy, solid like a trough of water, or it could be vaporous, frothy like the crash of a wave. It could be opaque or it could be transparent; all of these different qualities. It could be still, just shimmering, it could be moving so quickly that you felt there was an incredible vibrancy about it. The totality of this experience of rock and water had this evanescence, which you felt; it came right up to you, to the top of the cliff.” (John Beard, “The Nomad and the Sea”, Australian Art Collector, issue 62, 2012, p154)
T.Bond Catalogue essay Self Portraits and the Rock (2002) described
BIOGRAPHY Born in Aberdare, Wales in 1943, John Beard studied at the University of London and the Royal College of Art. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group shows around the world including HEAD On: Art with the Brain in Mind at the Science Museum, London (2002), Painting the Century, 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900-2000 at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2000), and the Possibilities of Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (1999). Beard’s solo exhibitions include Visao Fugitiva at the Gulbenkian's Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon (2005-2006), an installation in 1999 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales of selected works from Beard's solo exhibition, After Adraga, which was shown at the Tate Gallery, St Ives, UK (1998) and Heads Phase I and II, a Level 2 Contemporary Project at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1999). Beard has also held solo exhibitions in India, USA, Spain and New Zealand.
In 2005 Beard was awarded a major grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation. In 2006 he won the Art Gallery of New South Wales Wynne Prize and the Kedumba Contemporary
Drawing Award, was invited to participate in the Australian Drawing Biennale and made a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, Sydney. In 2007 he won the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2007 Archibald Prize for Portrait Painting. In 2009 Beard held a part survey exhibition, Headlands 1993-2007 (curated by William Wright) at the Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery and exhibited in Gesichtslos-Die Malerei des Diffusen (Faceless-The Art of Diffusion) Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany 2009/2010. In February 2010, was appointed a trustee of The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.
A major monograph was published in 2011. As the first documentation of John Beard’s work, this definitive monograph provides a visual chronology of Beard’s work from 1978-2011. Featuring a highly original design presentation and exacting production standards, this beautifully created book contains essays by Stephen Bann and Anthony Bond with an introduction by Charles Saumarez Smith. Their sympathetic and comprehensive appraisal of Beard’s art is complimented by over 300 reproductions spanning the artist’s 40-year career.
Beard’s work has been collected by major Australian and international public and private institutions including National and State Galleries across Australia, the Gulbenkian's Centro de Arte Moderna in Lisbon, Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris and the Tate Gallery in London. Beard lives in Sydney and is represented by John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney. He has previously held several solo and group exhibitions at The Fine Art Society Gallery, London. Earlier in 2012, Beard exhibited with Hales Gallery, London, where he presented a solo exhibition of selected works from 1992-2012. Consequently, a major museum in the United Kingdom is in the process of acquiring several of these works. Most recently beard held a solo show at the FAS Contemporary in london and simultaneously was represented in the ‘AUSTRALIA’ exhibition at London’s Royal Academy.
THE OBJECT OF SPACE is my utopian reordering of the architectural spaces that I encounter into vibrant containers of space. Inspired by the seeming energy & potential of these ordinary spaces I have re-imagined them, placed boundaries around them, compressed them and divided them. Hard edges and materials are softened by playful colours and juxtapositions. Multiples and layering emphasise the point: that space is fun, full of potential and ripe for the imagination.
Perspex is my material of choice. I see it as paint in a solid state: pigment suspended in sealed acrylic. Opaque-gloss red is as red as red cans be, and frosted white becomes dense and tactile. The viewer is invited close to, in and around the new objets d'Espace.
I love the ubiquitous cube and its permutations; so simple and useful that it is everywhere that humans are.
Georgia Brown. Feb 2013
2013 Bachelor of Fine arts (Hons.), National Art School, Sydney.
2007 Certificate IV in Visual Arts, School of Creative Arts Sydney.
2013, February, William Wright // Artists Projects, Sydney.