Curation

Vantage Points March 2016

Exhibiting Artists: Leonie Barton | Louisa Chircop | Lynne Eastaway | Julia Flanagan | Jody Graham | Michelle Perrett
Exhibition dates: 5-31 March 2016

Visual artists record objects, places or people from observed vantage points all the time: drawings or paintings of still life, a landscape or portrait easily come to mind. However the term ‘Vantage Point’ has many connotations: the observed view from here or over there; or a standpoint informed by a unique experience. This exhibition considers some of the nuances of ‘vantage points’ or ways of seeing ‘things’, places, experiences and the self.

Julia Flanagan and Lynne Eastaway create work based on observation with contrasting results. Julia Flanagan’s exuberant use of colour and layered marks that dance across her canvas describe landscapes and places she has been. Working from memory and imagination these paintings express fleeting moods, feelings and memories that she describes as ‘fragments of my daily life. A place I can visit and be immersed within my imagination’1. In contrast Lynne Eastaway’s fascination with relationships between objects informs her observations. She ‘sees’ the shapes of negative spaces, the gaps between, shadows cast or reflections made. These observed shapes are isolated and unpacked into sketchbooks then moved around turned inside out, upside down and rearranged to create new relationships. Shapes and forms drift in and out of her drawings and paintings with each work feeding the next in an ongoing investigation.

Observation of a different nature are central to Jody Graham. Jody Graham is perhaps best known for her highly expressive and evocative drawings on paper. An explorer, Jody considers themes of impermanence and mortality via her most recent muses, the large abandoned buildings around the inner west. For Vantage Points, Jody presents an assembage of collected objects and detritus that represent a new type of observation. These objects used are collected from the streets or ‘borrowed’ from the abandoned buildings she has drawn. These objects are broken, decaying and would normally be considered rubbish. When they are placed on a plinth in the gallery in carefully arranged compositions we see them in a new light. We not only ponder our ‘throwaway society’ and the impermanence of ‘things’, but our curiosity about the objects is piqued. We can't help but wonder about the owner, its past and its story.

Leonie Barton is also a collector however her focus is objects found in the natural world. Leonie’s work in the Gallery represents small sample of a year long project completed during 2015. Each day for 365 days Leonie took a short walk and using only what she found created an ‘ephemeral work’. The work was documented (on Instagram) and then abandoned. Similar to Jody Graham’s assemblages, Leonie’s arrangements reveal what we could ‘see’ if we slowed down, stopped and considered our immediate environment or the wider world more carefully. In addition to documenting the ephemeral work Leonie documented a ‘wide photographic shot’ showing the work in the wider environment in which it was placed (samples of the two images side by side are displayed on the television screen in the Gallery). This documentation at once reveals more possibilities – or perhaps makes us question whether things really are as they seem after all.

Louisa Chircop and Michelle Perrett offer a perspective into ‘the self’. Michelle’s convex mirrors are bas relief ceramics fired with reflective glazes. ‘The mirror’ holds a unique place in our imagination: enabling us to ‘know thy self’. As we know mirrors/reflections reveal the truth, or do they? The convex mirror, unlike the flat mirror, distorts reflections tricking the eye. This distorted view provides an interesting vantage point considering our ‘selfie in the mirror’ obsessed contemporary culture, where selfie is carefully constructed and reviewed before the acceptable one is loaded to social media.

Louisa Chircop’s paintings and ceramics are loaded with symbolism and offer an exploration of the subconscious and as she describes ‘shadows of the self’2. From a young age Louisa used visual art as a release from tensions of growing up in a very full, migrant household3. Her highly personal works morph imagery from are variety of sources: the real, the imagined, religious symbolism, collaged contemporary media and Romanticism (Goya being a particular favourite). The result is contradictory images, Surrealist in nature and open to a variety of interpretations, depending on one’s vantage point.

Lisa Woolfe March 2016
1. Artist statement Every Now and Then www.juliaflanagan.com.au retrieved 5 March 2015
2. Stranger, Lucy 2015, Louisa Chircop, Artist Profile Issue 31 pp25
3. ibid

5-31 March 2016

Drawn Out 2014

Drawn Out
1-31 March 2014

This curated exhibition brings together a group of artists whose practice revolves around drawing, using traditional and not-so traditional materials. Drawn Out features works on paper, installation, performance, animation and more.

Curator
Lisa Woolfe

Participating Artists
Andrew Antoniou | Suzanne Archer | Pina Bartolo | Sarah Drury | Corrigan Fairbairn | David Fairbairn | Cameron Ferguson | Renuka Fernando | Flatline (feat Todd Fuller and Carl Sciberras) | Jan Handel | Rachael Helmore | Gillian Hughes | Ochre Lawson | Pamela Leung | Gabrielle Mason | Matilda Michell | Meaghan Potter | Kelley Stapleton | Jane Theau | Sandra Winkworth | Lisa Woolfe

'Drawing' is often seen simply as a means to another end (a sketch for a painting or sculpture or a just a 'doodle'), and I think they are often overlooked. I wanted celebrate and feature 'drawings' as artefacts in themselves. As well as this, I have included artists who nudge the definition of 'drawing' beyond a narrow definition of 'marks made on paper' . This exhibition features drawings on paper, but also includes drawings with textiles, drawings with chopsticks, performance and video.

From Matilda Michell's 'invented figure drawings' (the simplicity of which belie rigorous study of the human form that is required to 'invent'), to Pamela Leung's installation of chopsticks that create a cacophony of 'drawn' lines, Drawn Out features a myriad of approaches to the art of drawing.

Plus One 2012

Plus One could have easily been named “Six Degrees of Separation”. Curator Lisa Woolfe invited 12 artists whose work she admires to exhibit their work in a group exhibition at Art Est. Gallery in Leichhardt during Art Month Sydney. The catch: she asked each of the 12 to invite an artist whose work they admired to exhibit along with them. It turns out many of the artists know each other or know of each other having crossed paths at various art schools, through shared studio spaces, or just out and about in Sydney’s tight knit art scene.

What was it about the initial 12 artists? Lisa Woolfe states "The link is that nearly all 12 are recent graduates (either undergrad or postgrad) who are currently unrepresented. I know all too well how hard it is to stay motivated and keep creating art after the pressures of deadlines of studies lift and we return to daily life. I hoped that some if not all the artists and their ‘Plus One’ would create new work for this exhibition. I was pleased that many of the artists were able to do this, and in some cases collaborate with their ‘plus one’.”

The exhibiting artists’ work spans a range of disciplines and includes constructivist inspired sculptural forms, through to installation and back to paintings and paper based works. Some of the invited artists chose to collaborate with their “Plus One”. Painter and printmaker Marion Chapman collaborates with poet Jayne Chapman, digital and mixed media artist Jenni Barrand collaborates with fashion stylist and singer/songwriter Di Barrand and painter Julie Brockbank collaborates with textile artist Leanne Cutler.

Plus One promises to be a dynamic and surprising exhibition featuring work by artists including Renuka Fernando, Jenni Barrand, Di Barrand, Marion Chapman, Jayne Chapman, Jan Handel, Jane Lush, Jennie Pry, April White, Terri Tang, Ying Ying Chen, Thea Weiss, Cyndi Freiman, Nicola Hill, Megan Dawes, Qianwen Xie, Qingwen Liu, Dinah Johanson, Mary Van den Berk, Julie Brockbank, Leanne Cutler, Daniela Meier Mears, Janiece Irvine, Erez Ben-Or , and 2011 Dobell Prize finalist Alexandra Byrne.

Exhibition Dates: 1 to 31 March 2012