Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano

Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano studied drawing before they began making video works together. Using improvised choreography and working with their own bodies and simple materials, they emphasise gesture, process and sculptural form.

In September 2007 Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano travelled to Spain for a month-long residency at the Can Serrat International Art Centre, Barcelona. While staying at Can Serrat the artists thought closely about scale, and the boundaries between interior and exterior. Sharing a room at one point, they reflected upon ceilings, how we might gaze at them before sleep, and read shapes and narratives in their shadows – as we would into the shifting forms of clouds.

Mechanical Cloud 2009 grew from these shared perceptions, inventions and conversations. This piece captures the oscillating light of a ceiling lamp, which expands and contracts in patterns of kaleidoscopic abstraction. Like a god’s eye, the ‘pupil’ shifts between light and dark in a perpetual motion. Nascent and engorged geometries, prisms, the shimmer of a star, the eye on the wing of a moth, all suggested by this flow of ‘mechanically’ refracted data. We ‘see’ via the unique language of our own perception: the black and white of a spreading drop of ink, a headlight on a dark road, first light after an anaesthetic, the spinning wheel of a bike. We are constantly reading between the eye, the mind and the imaginary.

Text excerpt by Geraldine Barlow from‘Gabriella and Silvana Mangano’ Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2009.

Their works have been widely exhibited nationally and internationally.

Recent exhibitions include: Dancing Umbrellas: An Exhibition of Movement and Light, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria (2016); The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art(APT8), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of   Modern Art, Brisbane (2015-16); Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its echoes, The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia (2015-16); Of Objects or Sound, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2014); Whisper in my Mask, TarraWarra Biennale 2014, TarraWarra (2014); The Wandering: Moving images from the MCA Collection, Ararat Regional Gallery, touring to Cairns Regional Gallery (2013); Hidden Spaces, Ready Stages, The Arts Centre, Melbourne (2013); Shapes for Open Spaces, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2011).