Monthly Archives: May 2011

Art vs. Context

Projection by Bonnie Lane at Bus Projects, Melbourne, May 2011

Bus Projects’ space in Melbourne is a prime example of the direct influence an environment can have upon a work of art.  The gallery’s warren-like rooms were dimly lit for Bonnie Lane’s recent exhibition Into the Dark, which featured a series of projections ranging from the mundane to the saccharine – spectral curtains billowed, little girls skipped.

Lane’s projections aimed to explore the intermediary state between childhood and adulthood, though some – like a work featuring a young girl smearing her face with makeup – seemed laboured in their approach.  In one room however, was a projection arresting in its simplicity.  In a darkened recess, a young girl floated in sleep, a soft breeze tousling her hair.  She was captivating.  But what arguably gave the work its edge was the influence of its immediate environment.  The grimy, subterranean room in which the child was projected evoked a sense of foreboding not found in a white cube context.  While this work was conceived exclusively for Bus Projects, one can’t help but wonder if its power would be diluted should it be shown elsewhere…

Bonnie Lane’s exhibition Into the Dark closed on May 28.


Yvonne Todd, 'Sales Executive', colour photograph, 80 x 63.6 cm, 2009

Leg of Lamb received some exciting news last week.  Stay tuned….

Lindsay Lohan stands around with her mouth open

Lindsay Lohan is the subject of painter Richard Phillips’ first foray into film. Debuting in Venice as part of Commercial Break, an exhibition curated by Neville Wakefield for The Garage, the 97 second mini-film, imaginatively entitled Lindsay Lohan features the freckled one in close up, her plumped mouth expertly parted. For Phillips, the vacuous Lohan ‘bring(s) forward an existential presence that speaks to the isolated self’. Right…

Linder Sterling talks Art and Rock

Hot Photo Friday – Linder Sterling

Linder Sterling, 'Untitled', n.d.

Breakfast with Midori

Breakfast tables at MUMA, Caulfield

Earlier this week Leg of Lamb enjoyed a meal at MUMA care of Midori Mitamura.   The Tokyo-based artist is the current artist in residence at Monash University and her MUMA work Art & Breakfast is part of an ongoing project that has previously taken place in Stockholm, Tokyo and Berlin.   Alongside a delicate, whimsical installation that the artist is constantly modifying, Mitamura serves complimentary breakfasts to gallery visitors, quietly replenishing plates of fruit and trays of croissants while attendants graze or stop to have a chat. This relaxed environment discretely fosters an intimate, highly personalised exchange between artist and viewer and Leg of Lamb was touched by Mitamura’s simple act of generosity.

Next Wave staff and others enjoy breakfast with Midori (in foreground)

There’s still time for you to enjoy a delicious breakfast with Midori Mitamura.  Click here for session times.

Collier Schorr Work Censored

Collier Schorr's cover image of Andrej Pejic for Dossier Journal

The latest issue of Dossier Journal featuring cover art by Collier Schorr has been censored in America by bookstore giants Barnes & Noble and Borders, who fear that Schorr’s androgynous subject, male model Andrej Pejic might be mistaken for a topless woman.  The issues must now be individually wrapped, a precaution normally reserved for smutty magazines.  You can view the rest of Schorr’s photoshoot with Pejic here.

Stacks of books, bits of wood

Bookshelf of Guardian reader Gary Homewood

The Guardian recently posted a fascinating photo-essay documenting how people choose to arrange their libraries.  Leg of Lamb reckons Gary Homewood’s bookshelves (above) have a serious Gascoigne vibe going on…

Rosalie Gascoigne, 'Untitled (12 squares of 6)', sawn weathered wood, 1980-81

Jim Henson’s Time Piece

Before The Muppet Show made him a household name, Jim Henson made commercials and short films.  Time Piece (above) was nominated for an Academy Award in 1966.  Look closely and you’ll discover that the protagonist is young Henson himself.

Simon Terrill at Sutton

Simon Terrill, 'Arsenal v Fenerbahce', 2009

Simon Terrill’s photographs at Sutton Gallery suggest traces of crowds, often on the cusp of total invisibility.  The works are made through multiple exposures on a single negative so that densely populated spaces initially seem uninhabited.  Take Arsenal v Fenerbahce for instance.  At first glance, the photograph suggests an empty thoroughfare until the subtlest gradations of colour and movement reveal themselves as the residue of a teeming mass of footie fans.   This tension between presence and absence is at once unsettling and beautiful.

Simon Terrill, 'Balfron Tower', 2010-2011

The show’s highlight however is a large-scale photograph entitled Balfron Tower (above) that features a Brutalist public housing block in London’s East End. Despite the imposing monumentality of the architecture, described by its designer Erno Goldfinger as imparting ‘a delicate sense of terror’, the mood of the photograph is buoyant.  In contrast to the apparent emptiness of the show’s other images, the physical presence of Balfron Tower’s occupants was crucial to the realisation of the work.  Terrill flood-lit the site and used a sound cue to alert his subjects of the forthcoming shot.  At liberty to present themselves as they pleased, the inhabitants emerged in celebration.  They performed, they danced, they played. By promoting and documenting this hearty sense of community, Terrill challenges preconceptions about public housing and its occupants.

Through his Erased Crowd photographs and carefully constructed large-scale scenes, Terrill uses the absence and presence of humankind to explore complex interrelationships between public and private space and how we choose to inhabit it.

Simon Terrill, Phantom, Sutton Gallery, 254 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, until May 28th.