ok, so regular readers of this blog will know that i regularly talk about the exhibitions i’ve seen, but it’s a little random (in keeping with the nature of this blog in general). well, now that my life is full of unstructured time and plenty of time to see exhibitions and write about them, i’ve had fuck-all opportunity to do so.
one of my plans once i get to london, is to visit a gallery per day and write about it. maybe not just here, maybe also in my journal/sketchbook/letters to mum. but that’s the plan.
so far, i’ve failed miserably this month to achieve anything close to that, but i’m going to get the ball rolling and write about what i have seen so far. i’m hoping to keep these things more snippety (new word!) so that they’re easy to digest. and ‘cos i won’t have time/can’t be arsed downloading/uploading too many pics on my travels either.
here are the galleries I’ve managed so far.
In my last week in Sydney, i hoped to squeeze in visits to 2 of my favourite artist-run-spaces and check out the shows. The First Draft show (which is probably over by now, so go to the opening of the next one, will you!), was another full house. There was Group Show, a 4-artist group show in the main gallery and back room, and Zombie, by Emma Ramsey & Anna John.
Most of the work on display was really engaging, although i had to move past the flickering fluorescent work in the front to get to it. I wanted to shatter that fucking thing. Maybe that’s the expected response, but i really don’t like art that annoys the fuck out of me on a basic level. If i want to be annoyed like that, i’ll hang out with a 2-year old. However, Aaron Seeto‘s work was really great – much more interesting than his eggs. I really liked the presentation of the oxidises metal sheets, including how they were glued onto the shelf. I know, I’m a geek.
The other work i really liked in the show was the video work in the end room, by Huseyin Sami, documenting the artist painting with his feet. It highlighted how much i take my dexterity for granted. I was amazed at the brush he was using, developed specifically for the purpose (and marvelled at how i could possibly think about using a shit $2 brush ever again!) and also at the significance of being bound in the way he was – not just about function, but also a reminder at how our able-bodied advantages can also trap us into a well-worn way of thinking/looking/doing.
Helena Leslie, who does the most amazing paper works, was exhibiting in the Project room at MOP. The execution of her work is so fucking far from mine (‘cos i’m ostensibly a lazy person, although i like to say i’m efficient) but i completely love it, because of that reason. The works, which are pinhole pricked ‘lace’ patterns into paper are exquisite, in every sense of the word.
I brought my mum to the opening and she also loved it. That’s usually a reason to run a mile, but my mum has good taste, i promise. I sadly said ‘cheerio’ to a Ron and George and i look forward to popping into the space on my travels in the future.
I’m hoping to pop into other Sydney galleries when i’m there next week, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get the chance. So, farewell Sydney and all the nice people who are part of the scene there.
69 Smith St
According to the 69 Smith St website, “Clive Stratford’s recent paintings stem from reflections on having lived half of one’s life-as Dante said: “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per ona selva oscura…”
“In the middle of our life I found myself in a dark wilderness…” These reflections concern loss, regret, betrayal, love and faith.
Although this ‘gallery visit’ was a bit of a cheat, i only had a chance to look through the very large front window/door, I’m glad i stopped and gazed. The works, for me, also reflected loss, regret, betrayal, etc in masculinity. A lot of the icons, symbols and models used in the paintings were poignant in their masculinity (like a todd mcmillan photo, rather than a chippendales calendar).
I’m off to see David Shrigley at Kings ARI later today and hopefully I’ll be able to check out the Australian Impressionism show at NGV before i leave. You will hear about them.
PS – Don’t forget, if you’re in Sydney next Tuesday night and not sure what to do with yourself the night before a public holiday, come to Kudos Gallery, the opening of He Said, She Said.