Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hot Photo Friday – Tracey Baran

Tracey Baran, 'Ivy', 2001

Julian Dashper 1960 – 2009

Julian Dashper died a year ago today.  He is sadly missed.

More Pollock

New photographs of Jackson Pollock revealed

Tony Vaccaro, 'Jackson and Lee, August 1953', 1953

Previously unseen photographs of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner are about to go on display at the Pollock Krasner House and Study Centre.  Taken by Pollock’s acquaintance Tony Vaccaro (better known for his WWII photographs), the shots were to be included in a Look Magazine article on East Hampton artists that never came to fruition.  While Vaccaro’s colour film was lost, his black and white contact sheets remain intact.  And it is from these that the photographs in the show – many of which have never been seen or printed before – were taken.

Jackson and Lee, August 1953: Photographs by Tony Vaccaro, July 29 - October 30, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, East Hampton.

Looking forward – two talks by Jemima Wyman

Tomorrow Brisbane-based artist and current Elam International Artist in Residence Jemima Wyman will be giving an artist’s talk at the Elam Lecture Theatre, 20 Whitaker Place in Auckland at 6pm.

Wyman (whose work is included in this year’s Biennale of Sydney) will also be speaking at The Physics Room, 209 Tuam Street, Christchurch on August 4.

Choi Jeong Hwa eclipsed by Bronwyn Oliver

Choi Jeong Hwa's 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' installed at the Sydney Botanic Gardens

Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa has installed a giant inflatable sculpture in the Sydney Botanic Gardens as part of the 2010 Biennale of Sydney.  ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ is a lurid, motorised lotus that rises and falls within one of the garden’s murky ponds.  Alien in its colour and materials, the lotus reflects the artist’s belief that nature in Korea is rarely encountered, thus he explores the idea of it, rather than its actuality.  In contrast to the lotus’s showy display, there are two permanent sculptures within the vicinity that offer a quite different take on nature.

Bronwyn Oliver, 'Magnolia (seed)', 2009

Bronwyn Oliver, 'Palm', 2009

‘Magnolia (seed)’ and ‘Palm’ by Australian sculptor Browyn Oliver were installed in the gardens in 2009.  Situated adjacent to the site of the first farm in Sydney Cove, their organic shapes recall scattered seed forms.  Despite being made out of copper, their seemingly delicate, webbed surfaces reflect nature’s transience  and, of course, its beauty.  Inevitably, these ideas are compounded when taking into account the artist’s untimely death in 2006.

Shadow cast by Bronwyn Oliver's 'Lotus', 2004

Because Oliver’s sculptures are nestled discretely into natural surroundings, one of their most pleasing features is not readily apparent.  In the right light, their intricate surfaces create entrancing shadows (like those cast by ‘Lotus’, above) that in themselves recall other organic forms.

While Jeong Hwa’s sculpture fits in with the spectacle of the Biennale, Oliver’s sculptures shine through with their elegant resoluteness.  ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ will be splashing about collecting pond slime (you’ll see) until August 1.  Bronwyn Oliver’s sculptures are on permanent display, you can find them here.

Hot Photo Friday – Collier Schorr

Collier Schorr, 'Forest Bed Blanket (Black Velvet)', 2001

Looking forward – Fair Shake

And, to get the juices flowing, here’s some footage of Into the Void playing at Superdeluxe, Artspace Sydney as part of the 17th Biennale of Sydney…

Well well well…

The Kingpins used to show at the now-defunct Kaliman Gallery in Sydney, but have recently made the move to Neon Parc.  While plans for their first exhibition with the gallery are yet to be confirmed, one can’t help but wonder what Melbournites will make of Sydney’s infamous ‘Drag Kings’ and their light-weight performances that – let’s face it – would look more at home on MTV.

Art + Fun + Genocide – confused?

Brook Andrew, 'The Cell', 3D model representation

Often the best art is discovered by chance, when your viewing experience is not yet tainted by the opinions of others.  This was the case when Leg of Lamb happened upon Brook Andrew’s commission for the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney last week.   Encountering a gallery space almost entirely overwhelmed by a mammoth 12.5 metre bouncy castle was a surprise indeed. 

Brook Andrew, rendering of 'The Cell' costumes

In order to experience ‘The Cell’, participants are required to don vividly striped Andrews-designed boiler suits that are  in keeping with the castle’s psychedelic, Wiradjuri-inspired patterns.  Once you’re zipped up, it’s time to crawl into an op-art playground (in our case passing Jean Sherman and her grandkids en route through a rubbery tunnel).

Leg of Lamb associates frolic in 'The Cell'

The cell’s interior is immersive, overwhelming and a whole bunch of fun.  Trussed up in comical costumes and thrown into such a stimulating environment, you abandon yourself to the experience and indulge in a lot of running, bouncing and squalking.  It’s exhilarating.  Which makes the artist’s stance somewhat jarring.  He says:  ‘It’s like you become an inmate, a cellular astronaut or asylum seeker.  Experiences of loss, asylum and genocide are turned on their head.  The Cell is a conundrum, a monument to such stories, a space for quiet contemplation, disorientation and spectacle.’

So The Cell’s about genocide?   Surely a big blowy bouncy castle isn’t the place for ‘quiet contemplation’?  Had I not collected a room sheet, I would have probably remained oblivious to Andrew’s intentions.  In hindsight, does this mean it’s wrong to delight in the rectangular confines of the ‘The Cell? 

The Cell at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 16–20 Goodhope Street, Paddington, until September 18.  This work will also be exhibited at the IMA, Brisbane from 25 September – 20 November.