Featured Artist Lisa Sharp: Biographical Note and Artist Statement

IMG_Lisa_01082017

Lisa Sharp. photograph by Rowan Fotheringham (2017)

Lisa Sharp is a Malaysian-born Australian artist, writer, curator and co-gallery manager. Currently based in Sydney, her painting practice sets out to explore ‘painting’ as action, object and historical discourse, all at once. Following an earlier career as a lawyer, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in Painting from the National Art School, as well as Bachelors of Arts (English) and Laws from the University of Sydney and a Masters in Laws from the University of Technology, Sydney. Lisa likes to write and muse about art, art making and artists. Her blog is http://www.lisa-sharp.tumblr.com/

IMG_Judith+Holofernes_24102016

Lisa Sharp Judith and Holofernes, 2016, (diptych) Italian Green Earth pigment bound in tempera, oil and beeswax on panel, 20.5 x 15.5 x 1.2 cm each. photograph by Lisa Sharp (2016)

Selected exhibitions

2017
49 Sighs (solo) Factory 49
The Paddock III: Posted to New York, Aloft Harlem, New York
Annual Group Exhibition, Factory 49
RNPG at The Kiosk, The Kiosk, Katoomba
Ce qui aurait pu ne pas être, Galerie Abstract Project, Paris
Factory 49 at Supermarket Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden
Support / Surface Movement, Factory 49 Outside Wall Painting

2016
Hype, Creative Space 220
Painting Remnants (solo) Factory 49
Abbotsleigh Alumni Exhibition, Grace Cossington Smith Gallery
Annual Group Exhibition, Factory 49
The Paddock II: virtual fields, Factory 49
Unmake/make / dénouer/nouer (joint) Factory 49 Paris Pop Up

2015
Directors’ Show, Factory 49
Breaking Space, Imperial Hotel Paddington
National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition, National Art School
Honours 2015, Library Stairwell Gallery
Another Day in Paradise, National Art School
The Paddock: Looking back at The Field, Library Stairwell Gallery
To Be Continued (2), Factory 49
Feral, Articulate Project Space (as arts writer)

2014
Stilled Life, Sede Annandale
National Art School Graduate Exhibition, National Art School

Artist Statement

My practice explores the ways in which the form of painting, treated reductively, can conflate the material language, concrete processes and art history of painting. ‘Painting’ is action, object and ongoing historical discourse, all at once. A ‘painting’ can mean many things – it’s a verb, a noun, and also a narrative, and this dialogue underpins my approach. In my studio, ‘painting’ constantly slips between action, thing and conversation. In my mind’s eye, and then with my hands, I aim to make work that captures those slippages around the meaning of painting.

I work with the materiality of painting. The trio of support, surface and paint tend always to be addressed in my works, but to varying degrees and with an ongoing interrogation of the role each element plays. The absence, or surrogacy, of any of these elements can be telling. I am fascinated with the qualities of different materials, whether the absorbency of a surface or the origin of a pigment, and exposing the ways in which they function within a painting is quite often the basis for engaging with a work. Prioritising the role of the materials that underlie painting also shifts the emphasis from the pictorial to the structural and from composition to chance. The use of fairly traditional painting materials and practices alongside unconventional ones enables a playful, process-driven examination of painting while situating it within the contemporary visual arts.

IMG_Painting Weaving_28102016

Lisa Sharp Painting Weaving, 2016, copper pigment in acrylic polymer on woven cotton string and cotton duck canvas, 55 x 55 x 3 cm. photograph by Lisa Sharp (2016)

In some works, there is an emphasis on surface, whether through the result of repetitive actions of layering successively lean paint strata, in horizontal then vertical bands, as if weaving, or through actually weaving the canvas from string and torn strips.

My most recent series, the ‘paintless paintings’ uses the absence of paint to point to traditional materials, nomenclature, even expectations about painting as potentially expressive sources of meaning. In the absence of paint, the support and surface of the works become magnified, leading to an interest in the textile minutiae constituting a canvas surface, and the significance particularly of used textiles. I have been experimenting with domestically sourced textiles as surrogates for canvas.

One series is based on used muslin teabags and uses an embroidery hoop in place of a stretcher.  I found that the absence of paint only stressed the mundane, body-like qualities of the canvasses. The titling ironically references the death of painting as well as bodily ecstasy. The scale, and indeed the surrogate materials are domestic and feminized, offering alternative interpretations and readings of the paintings.

IMG_49 Sighs at Factory 49_24071717 (1)

Lisa Sharp 49 Sighs, 2017, 2017, glue gesso on canvas with beeswax varnish and a copper tack, 10 x 10 x 10 cm each (installation view) Factory 49, Sydney. photograph by Lisa Sharp (2017)

A recent exhibition, 49 Sighs was an installation of 49 paintless paintings. Once more, building upon the material language and rhythms of a painter preparing for painting, these stiffened forms, molds of trapped air (my breath, a sigh) illustrate the unusual qualities of gesso, a traditional primer used to prepare a surface for painting. These interactions and metaphors were made possible between a collision of materials, form, process and body. I was playing with the idea that a painting could be absent of paint yet still be about painting.

IMG_A single sigh (pain)_240717

A Single Sigh, 2017, 2017, glue gesso on canvas with beeswax varnish and a copper tack, 10 x 10 x 10 cm. Factory 49, Sydney. photograph by Lisa Sharp (2017)

What constitutes painting? is a question which continues to feed and direct my practice. What are the material (and socio-political) conditions of its creation, and how do they affect its impact and meaning? Taking the most basic material structure of painting – paint on stretched canvas – as a fixed position from which to invert, interrogate and experiment, I continue to paint, and make paintings that speak to the history of painting.

-Lisa Sharp


 

 

Featured artist Zalehah Turner: Biographical note

!'The light between' (2013)_Zalehah Turner_RSR issue 23 JPG

‘The light between’ (2013), photograph. Zalehah Turner.

Zalehah Turner is a Sydney based poet, photographer, cultural journalist, and Associate Editor of Rochford Street Review (RSR). Zalehah is currently working on a 30-page intermedia poetry collection entitled, Critical condition, focused on the interstitial threshold between life and death in medical crises based on personal experience. Zalehah holds a BA in Communication with a major in writing and cultural studies from the University of Technology, Sydney where she continues to pursue pushing the boundaries of poetry and multimedia in Honours (Communication- Creative Writing). Critical condition is her Honours Project and the Creative component of her degree at UTS.

'Reflections of Self' (2013), photographs, paper, QR Scan me codes. Mark and Remark, 107 Projects, Redfern. 'Reflections of Self' Zalehah Turner

“Reflections of Self’ (2013), photographs, paper, QR Scan me codes. Zalehah Turner. exhibited at Mark and Remark, 107 Projects, Redfern, 2013.

Zalehah loves the connection between poetry and images whether they be multimedia or photographic. Reflections of Self is series of poetry and photography that was first exhibited at 107 Projects, Redfern in 2013, and has since been published on the Writing Laboratory website, and displayed in Alice Springs and Moruya thanks to Australian Poetry Café poets Laurie May and Janette Dadd respectively. Interstices, a collection of five poems, one photograph, and two modified medical images, was published on the UTS website, Vertigo, in 2016. As a Featured Writer of Rochford Street Review, four of her poems and photographs connected by concepts of space were published in issue 21.

Zalehah’s poetry has also been projected onto the Federation Square Wall in Melbourne as part of the Overload Poetry Festivals, 2008 and 2009, printed on Salt and Pepper shakers, and published in Sotto (2013), Social Alternatives (2016), Vertigo (2016, 2017) and UTS’s The Empathy Poems Project in connection with Refugee Week this year.

She was co-judge of the New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016 and published the winning and highly commended poems of the New Shoots Poetry Prize 2016 and the New Shoots Royal Botanic Garden, Poetry Prize 2016 in addition to interviewing the poets in Rochford Street Review.

She has curated many of the Featured Writers for RSR since July 2016, as well as, the artists in issue 20. She has reviewed a wide range of cultural events and interviewed poets for Rochford Street Review and Vertigo in addition to editing and publishing reviews and launch speeches as Associate Editor of RSR.

!'Cast in shadow' (2013), photograph, Zalehah Turner_RSR issue 23 JPG

‘Cast in shadow’ (2013), photograph. Zalehah Turner

Debra Adelaide, Associate Professor in Creative Writing at UTS expressed that ‘Hold on’ was “wonderful and moving”.

Award winning Irish poet, Patrick Deeley stated that he was “struck by the quietly impressed images and what you refer to as their ‘liminal loop’, as well as by your exploration of ‘internal space’. I also liked your photographs a lot – they really complement the poems.”

Untitled (Four poems) in Rochford Street Review (2017): https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2017/03/25/zalehah-turner-four-poems/
‘Hold on’ in Empathy Poems (2017): https://empathypoems.squarespace.com/blog/2017/6/2/hold-on
‘Interstices’ in Vertigo (2016): https://utsvertigo.com.au/webexclusives/poetry-feature-interstices/
Reflections of Self on the Writing Laboratory website: http://writinglab.patarmstrong.webfactional.com/portfolio/reflection-of-self/

 

Turner 2.tif

Zalehah Turner

 

Featured Artist: Issue 21 Luciano Prisco – Biographical Note

Luciano Prisco ‘Buio’, 2016, oil on canvas

Luciano Prisco ‘Buio’, 2016, oil on canvas

Luciano Prisco was born in Melbourne in 1955 where he has mostly lived and worked. He gained a Diploma in Fine Art from Phillip Institute of Technology in 1982 studying under Dale Hickey and Peter Booth.

In the early 1980s he exhibited at Roar Studios, Christine Abrahams Gallery and Young Originals. He later exhibited works at Goya Gallery and Maroondah Gallery and from 2002 to 2013 he exhibited works in both solo and group exhibitions at Jackman Gallery and Tilt Contemporary Space. Works have also been included in Mornington Peninsula Works on Paper exhibition. He has also taught drawing for Arts Project Australia.

Luciano has spent considerable time drawing and painting in remote areas of Australia and he now lives on Phillip Island where he has both the physical, environmental and emotional peace and space to devote to his work.”

His latest exhibition, Luciano Prisco – New Works, Poems from Christopher Barnett, was a collaboration with the writer Christopher Barnett and ran from 10 September to 9 October 2016 at the Langford 120 Gallery in Melbourne (http://www.langford120.com.au/16-luciano-prisco-new-works-poems-from-christopher-barnett.html).

Luiano Prisco’Gates the New Jerusalem’, 2016 oil on canvas

Luiano Prisco’Gates the New Jerusalem’, 2016 oil on canvas

Featured Artist: Georgina Pollard Biographical Note

As energy, the paint does not restrict itself to my process, and our dialogue has turned to the form of a shared ecology—Georgina Pollard (Artist Statement, A-M Gallery)

Pollard Newtown Hub

Georgina Pollard, Mistint (2014), acrylic house paint, 45cm x 60cm (each), Newtown; image courtesy of the artist.

Georgina Pollard is an artist who works with reclaimed house-paint as a weaving or sculpting material. With a background in theatre, Pollard finds a relationship between theatre philosophy and paint—in the way that paint can take on a life of its own in process—like an object or prop in a stage performance. When Pollard is responsive to paint in this way, the art-object she makes is a kind of record, or transcription, of the gestural dialogue she has shared with paint, in context of place and time. Pollard describes her work as highly self-aware. Gestures, action and reactions in drips, drops, lines and layers express subjects in process: paint becoming-subject and an identity in flux with/in a shared ecology.

Pollard is co-founder of Cementa Arts Festival, with artists Alex Wisser and Ann Finegin. Cementa is a contemporary visual arts festival held in Kandos, regional New South Wales (inland from Sydney, toward Mudgee). Since 2013, the festival has been held biannually, and has achieved giving regional and city-based practising artists the opportunity to experiment with their proposed material or text in a landscape very different to the urban experience. At the heart of Cementa is the idea that artist-shared spaces are naturally generative.

The festival facilitates bringing artists together, and making more things happen—especially in the region. Clandulla State Forest, for example, opened as Clandulla State Gallery to exhibit The Survey Show (2014), curated by Margaret Roberts. Along a winding track through the state forest, visitors experienced artworks made for the bush setting. Pollard exhibited in this group show with her work Chandelier for Ants (2014), a branch painted with toffee, made to disintegrate as ants swarmed and consumed the artwork.

the-survey-show-294

Georgina Pollard, Chandelier for Ants (2014), toffee and found branch, exhibited at The Survey Show (2014), Clandulla State Gallery; image courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Alex Wisser.

Pollard’s collection of recent solo shows—Through Line (2011; A-M Gallery, Sydney), Through Line II (2012; At the Vanishing Point Gallery, Sydney) and Through Line III (2014; A-M Gallery)—are named after Stanislavsky’s description of characterisation. A ‘through line’, according to Stanislavsky, links character objectives, irreducible to the performance or narrative. Through lines can be interwoven with other through lines, including the ‘lines’ of props and other elements of stage design. The performance as a whole is a network of through lines, and, in the sense of being interwoven, like a fabric. So when we look at Pollard’s work, we are ‘reading’ a deeply personal nonverbal dialogue—as all conversations are at heart—between the artist and paint.

Pollard Song Sung 2

Georgina Pollard, Song, Sung (2014), house paint and curtain fabric, 1.1m x 2.4m; image courtesy of the artist.

Pollard’s work is about being receptive to the paint, or, better, how it responds to her, in context of their shared environment. So, each work is a dialogue and index: gestures, weather, gravity, accidents, interruptions, and so on, are all recorded in the making until the performance comes to an end—the paint facilitates the action.

When Pollard talks about her relationship with paint she describes a dialogue that is full of stops and stops much like the fabric of inner thought: ‘sometimes the paint stops when I’m not ready for it to stop’; ‘it chooses different pathways’ to me; ‘it’s like watching a tear go down someone’s face’; ‘paint comes out more confused than you’d like it to’; ‘when it starts strong, I can determine the pattern’; ‘when it slows and deteriorates, it’s outside of my control’; ‘the wind blew it, and it stuck to itself, turning into this other being’. ‘We gesture more when we can’t find the words’ to express our inner thoughts.

Black one_Pollard

artwork by Georgina Pollard (2013), house paint; image courtesy of the artist

Pollard has exhibited with Modern Arts Projects (MAP) in the group show, Eco-Spirit held at Morton House in the Blue Mountains, curated by Jaquelene Drinkall (2014). MAP open in venues chosen for their architectural history, making something more of the art experience by bringing to the fore place and design. Pollard has had work exhibited at INDEX., Factory 49, Kaleidoscope Gallery, ESP Gallery, Mary Place Gallery, Oxford Art Factory, among other places. She held the Newtown Art Seat 2013/2014. Other honours include: the Callen Art Prize (Highly Commended), Fisher’s Ghost Prize (Finalist), and Marrickville Contemporary Art Prize (Joint Winner). Pollard has held the position of co-director at INDEX. and At the Vanishing Point Gallery. At the former, she co-curated a retrospective for the artist Melanie E Khava in 2011. Following art residencies in Hill End and at Kandos Projects, Pollard moved into what is becoming a regional arts hub.

These kinds of regional hubs don’t happen overnight, and they can be difficult to sustain. After working on the inaugural Cementa, Pollard and Wisser opened Coffee Concrete, a café located in Rylstone’s community gallery, which is about local food and local art. They are dedicated to opening up spaces for artists, bringing artists together from all over, and bringing audiences to experience art in the Mudgee region. As part of the next Cementa Art Festival (2017), for example, Wisser is opening Future Lands, a new art residency, which is about making links between art and agriculture. When Pollard talks passionately about what artists can accomplish given the space—any kind of space—to materialise their ideas, or make links between art and other areas of thought, it’s easy to think of her artworks, which are about being receptive to the environment and responding with humility. ‘My network with the object is about an awareness of its capabilities’, and ‘we are capable of empathising with our environment, as it empathises with us’ its way, said Pollard. She shows us how paint can be receptive, promiscuous, reproductive, much like the process of coming to a new idea.

Whose afraid of Ellsworth Kelly is the working title for Pollard’s latest collection in process, drawing upon the concept of making art as an index of its environment.

 

– Ashley Haywood