Negative Space explores a relationship between Scandinavian and Chinese concepts of negative space and how this manifests in an Australian landscape through the work of Alberto Gabellone and Cathy Zhang.
Negative Space, in regard to sculpture, refers to the space around an object (ie the gallery), or the space within that emphasises form. Gabellone and Zhang's practices in drawing and ceramics respectively manifest in sculptural pieces that rely on proportion, line, scale and geometric qualities to emphasise form. Curated by Sophia Halloway, the exhibition examines the complimentary and conflicting aspects of the artists' respective practices, encouraging contemplation of the space within.
Cathy Zhang, Quantity of Being 2019. Photo credit Yangyang Yin.
“where is the map shop?” “what is it?”
“how does it fit in with the other three doors?”
“maybe you’re saying that the map shop is a state of feeling, like failure or emotion”
“maybe you’re saying that failure and emotion are places”
Tom Campbell / Kute Bash presents an investigation into critical ideas of place through textiles, objects and documentation. Begun as a site-specific project in the Bendora Arboretum, Campbell is interested in understanding how places/nature is constructed and (in this exhibition) drawing connections between fraught ideas of ‘wilderness’ and other areas where we might experience a constructed sense of nature. The works included in Arboretum / The Map Shop are designed to encourage multiple readings of place and location. Objects can become sites for inviting questions rather than asserting a universal answer. Come see several textile constructions, text-based works, and leave your feedback in the visitor’s book.
Following the route taken by his spiritual guides Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette, In the Footsteps of Priscilla is an exhibition of new ideas and works in progress that document Christus Nóbrega’s pilgrimage across Australia after The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Brazilian artist and lecturer Professor Christus Nóbrega has been in Australia to present his solo exhibition Labirinto at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, and spent the hottest January since records began travelling from the heart of LGBTIQ+ Sydney to Central Australia. This exhibition showcases potential futures that this project may take, and poses many new questions along the way.
Christus Nóbrega is supported by the Embassy of Brazil, Canberra, and the Canberra Contemporary Art Space.
Portals is an exhibition of works on paper created from images that Clare Jackson has photographed, collected and drawn over the past few years. Jackson is interested in the relationship between photographs and printmaking, and how they can be interpreted through both traditional and contemporary print mediums such as etching, lithography, and laser engraving.
Image: Clare Jackson Practice Cloud 2019, lithograph on paper, 16cm x 12.5cm
Bio Spectre is an exhibition by Grace Blake (Instagram: @hi_phiber) that explores hypothetical bodies. It recruits the visual characteristics of anatomy and dissection, advertising and product presentation to render a science fiction like speculative anatomy. By removing the human as central to the exploration of the present and future experience of life on earth, Bio Spectre constructs a speculative reality and examines what is compelling about creating science fiction futures.
Saudade has no direct translation from Portuguese to English; the presence of absence is an entry point. For the purpose of this exhibition, the artists use Saudade as the foundation of three deeply personal narratives. Saudade in this context is an intense and profound longing for something and/or someone missing from each of the artists' lives. It is accompanied by an intense melancholy for what has been lost and cannot be restored. It can encompass reflective joy as well as great sadness but fundamentally evokes a sense of incompleteness.
[INSERT TITLE HERE] is presenting the collection of data from the active participants that have become a part of Belle Palmer’s series, Symbiosis 1 & 2 (2018) and Use with Extreme Caution (2019). Using interactivity as a focal point, these art systems reflect the relationship between the artist, the art objects and observers. Palmer has focused on extending her honours research and will be displaying her latest drawing machine as well as the results from her previous installations. [INSERT TITLE HERE] encourages viewer participation, it is crucial to these systems as it is their action and/or presence that informs the process of making.
Image: Belle Palmer Symbiosis 2 (2018/2019)
Steel, bicycle forks, wheel hub, bamboo, rope, plastimake, marker, custom pelmet box, calico, sand, cartridge paper, dimensions variable
Flesh d'Lite is an exhibition by Ellen Sleeman-Taylor, recent graduate of the ANU School of Art and Design and recipient of the EASS CCAS Exhibition Award.
In Flesh D’lite, Sleeman-Taylor is interested in how the nature/culture binary, linked by feminist philosophers and sociologists to the male/female binary, asserts itself in a digitised and hybridised world. Sherry B. Ortner found that the experience of a physical body and an idea of a non-physical mind is universal across all cultures. Although thought and emotion are physical functions, we experience a disassociation between our mind and body.
Ellen is interested in establishing a linkage between our experience of a separate mind and body, how we see the internet and ourselves online and the notion that many western philosophers have had that higher thought and function is the domain of men, and women "take care of the effective functions" - Emile Dirkheim. In the exploration of these ideas through digital imagery, collage and sculptural forms, Ellen wishes to find alternative routes to understanding ourselves, body and soul. She explores these ideas with a series of “digital skins” of fleshy/fabric/digital prints. The work is dominated by a soft pink that languishes around the room, the colour of "default flesh", as stipulated by Google's algorithm.
My sculpture is concerned with camouflage and its relation to form transformation and illusions of materiality. Through the use of pattern, light, and scale, camouflage can change the perception of form. A natural phenomenon, camouflage can be adopted to disguise man-made objects and blend them into their immediate localities. It transforms the artificial into the organic and disintegrates structure by making it appear to shape-shift. In my sculptures, colour schemes and markings obliquely reference nature, but the choice of synthetic paints and their method of application render them completely artificial. This process removes the camouflage patterns from their normal context, highlighting the juxtaposition of imitation and the organic, and accentuating the sculptures by disguising them, paradoxically, in a conspicuous manner.
Holding Pattern is a mid-sized PVC pipe sculpture atop an elevated platform. Pipe elbows combine to create an infinite knot or loop, which, although non-objective, reference the organic. Its modular components suggest a repetition of form, but each is unique in its arrangement, reflecting a free-form process of assembly. An innovative camouflage design using adhesive vinyl wrap covers its surface.
Schema (Yellow) & Schema (Orange) are 2D wall-based works that reflect the designs on Holding Pattern. To create these, a tessellated, random pattern generation technique was used based on Voronoi diagram image processing. These patterns occur naturally in nature and biological forms (cell culture), and are used in complex mathematical programs for mapping systems, information technology, and anti-face recognition. The enlarged pixelations on the panels challenge notions of image representation, and the camouflaged shapes on the sculpture distort form perception. Schema relate directly to the sculpture they adjoin in the gallery – their subject matter and method of display correlates with the industrial-ness inherent in the utilitarian pipes and support system of the sculpture, while the exaggerated pixel designs match the systematic patterns on the sculpture’s surface.
These innovative and unconventional artworks have their origins based firmly in both the urban and rural environment. They have obvious and distinct correlations with specific natural systems, such as woodland habitat. They also reference more civic locale, and it's this connection between the urban/suburban that I hope will activate rigorous discussion and debate with the audience.