Latest at the galleries

October 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

Robyn Stacey’s intriguing photographic compositions at Still’s Gallery Dark Wonder, comprise the outer worlds of rooms being projected into the rooms themselves. Using camera obscura, Stacey transforms and adds alternate dimensions to these spaces. They appear almost to flesh out the characters of the people whose rooms they relate to.                  8 October to 5 November 2016

At Martin Brown Contemporary, it is refreshing to see work from quite a different perspective. This is Vietnamese, Pham Luc‘s first exhibition in Sydney. He is one of Vietnam’s most important modern artists. Showing with him (but not shown here) is Savanhdary Vongpoothorn based on retelling of the Ramayana set in Laos rather than the Ganga. Till October 23, 2016

Jamie North‘s exhibition at Sarah Cottier Gallery, that just finished uses his now recognisable materials and ideas. He typically uses industrial waste materials with native Australian flora to create worlds within worlds.

At the group show at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, the artists are covering a lot of ground.From the rejuxaposed found object pieces by Bill Culbert and Jim Lambie to Dale Franks’s luminescent billboard-sized pieces, there is a lot to be absorbed in. What artists can do with plastic bottles, bicycle wheels and potato bags are spatially and aesthetically intriguing pieces. Till 14 October, 2016.

barrangal dyer (skin and bones) at the Royal Botanic Gardens

October 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

40,000 white, shield-like elements placed across lawn, plants, overlapping, spaced out, random. Or so they seemed. Forming the outline of the former Garden Palace (1879- 1882), the artist, Jonathan Jones says that the Palace has “become a symbol for the repercussions of forgetting… a kind of cultural burn”. The Palace was burnt down in 1882 and with it material from the early Aboriginal collections and other ones including the NSW Arts Society, The Technological and Mining Museum amongst others. Central to the piece is kangaroo grassland where the dome of the Palace once hovered at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Kaldor Public Art Projects  have initiated numerous groundbreaking public art projects since 1969 and continue with this incredible installation.

 

Consumer edge at White Rabbit

August 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Heavy Artillery was the recent show at WHITE RABBIT Gallery curated by David Williams. It was a full explosion of amazing and provocative work. The artists sought to, as ArtsHub writer says: “White Rabbit curator David Williams plays off Mao Zedong’s 1942 statement that artworks need to ‘operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the enemy’”.

Most things were big in this exhibition including He Xiangyu’s hand-stitched leather replica of a tank – it could be called an over-sized hand bag. The fragrance of leather is quite ominous. And Liu Wei’s oversized geometrical paper forms are competitively scaled to urban ones and simple enough to be distinguished from them. There are gravity-defying rocks and blue bookshelves lined with identical books all telling of propaganda. China is competing with and making  everything including rubbish, the fake luxury goods market, statues, the past, and great art.

 

All photographs were taken by the author, 2016.

Linda Marrinon – last days

August 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

Both naive and highly sophisticated, these raw and poetic statuettes and sculptures captivate and explore. They have the quality of sketches except done in plaster, terracotta and bronze then some are painted in a light and gestural manner. Her characters are taken from Greek and Roman mythology, different periods of art history and narratives. Working from a base form, she adds, subtracts and brings depth, warmth, character and lightness to her pieces. Absolute joy to explore and engage with them.

 

Rosslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, ending 6 August 2016

Romancing with the new

July 20, 2016 § 1 Comment

Bringing together a spectrum of artists from Korea and Australia, in a range of extreme medias and then different ages and stages, New Romance does exactly that. New Frontiers at The MCA, Sydney, explores the edge of current/future humanness. 18 artists with a broad range of inspirations reflect on current issues such as hybridisation, science, environment, digital media and other sources. Bonbon Yang’s Species series (2012) touches a chord where he robotosizes  discarded items such as umbrellas, coffee cups and newspaper and has them moving around – you could imagine our detritus taking over the world!

Sydney University is streets ahead

June 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

Set deep within the campus of Australia’s oldest university, is the Sydney University Lawn Tennis Club. This seems a bit of an anachronism in these high tech days, but it is extremely popular amongst students there, alumni and anyone who wishes to join. It also anchors the place and reminds you that lawn tennis dates back to the late 19c when Sydney University was founded. En route to the Club though, you pass along the cross -axis which passes in front of the historic Quadrangle and lawn in front of it.

 

The campus is being developed on a precinct basis so each area has its’ own character and plan for it. The redevelopment go the Chemistry and Carslaw sites on the City Road side of the lawn are the most innovative and interactive  aspects of the development in this area.

 

20th Sydney Biennale finale

May 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Art Gallery of NSW is hosting a large part of the Sydney Biennale this year with some very moving works. The artists in ‘Embassy of Spirits’ are exploring the “intersection between the spiritual and the philosophical, including works concerned with personal and religious rituals”. These manifest in quite different ways from the subtle work of Johanna Calle and Taro Shanada, Abstraction of Confusion where pieces of plaster/paint randomly fall off in the silence of the room.

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    larktalk

    Based in Sydney, NSW, I have been writing for over twenty years. My background is in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design (Harvard). Currently I am doing a Masters degree in Art.

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