A Magic Picture Coming into Focus: Libby Barratt Reviews ‘Recent Paintings & Glassworks’ by Jeff Manning at The Shop Gallery Glebe

Recent Paintings and Glassworks by Jeff Manning at The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road, Glebe until 14th April 2016

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A packed rush hour bus churns up Glebe Point Road and all eyes turn in unison to the kaleidoscopic colour bursting out of the brightly lit Shop Gallery. Jeff Manning’s recent paintings and glass works are nothing if not colourful, a celebration of performing and carnival work and life.

The works chronicle the experience and observations of the artist who has worked as a performer in circus and cabaret for thirty-five years as well as for the last two decades as singer, songwriter and front man for the Northern Tablelands band “Plan 9 From Inner Space.” You can hear his song “What is Art?” on YouTube at plan9frominnerspace.

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This colourful exhibition features whimsical pieces alongside inter-active side show inspired installations. But it’s not all bells and whistles. There’s a keen but subtle thread of social and cultural awareness embedded in the often black humour of these works. It takes a studied viewing to realize, like a magic picture coming into focus, the double entendre of the seven and a half meter triptych ‘Clown Funeral’. On a literal level, it is just that; a clown’s funeral but there is also a comedia del arte performance with all the tropes and tricks enacted through this lively cortege; the real cause of the sad faces. ‘Wicker Man’ recalls T.S.Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’; the sadness etched on the Kewpie Doll stall attendant’s face and the jarring design of her ill-chosen jumper contrast sharply with the fairy-like fantasy represented by the dolls; and “Shooting Gallery with Ducks” features a returned soldier in all his loneliness. There are happily observed artworks as well and one of my favourites is the simple, sunny portrait of a well- known landmark; Cunningham’s banana stall just south of Coff’s Harbour.

The glass works, designed and painted by Jeff Manning in collaboration with Greville Wilton of the Golden Wattle Glassworks in Glen Innes NSW (cutting and leading), deserve special praise.

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Manning, self- taught in the art of staining and painting glass, has designed panels for church windows that venerate the saints but here he celebrates the secular; ordinary people going about their lives and work; noodle waitress, skipping girl and boy fishing. These works are superbly realized and crafted.

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There was a merry crowd at the Opening on Friday 8th April. The show runs until Thursday 14th. Don’t miss it! It’s fun and there’s plenty to think about.


Plan 9 from Inner Space (plan9frominnerspace) live at the Platform Glen Innes.

 

 – Libby Barratt

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 Libby Barrett is an English & Studies in Culture teacher and studied Media and Journalism at UTS. She has published reviews in many journals and newspapers including reviews of the London & Sydney punk music scene. She also performed as a tightrope artiste at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in the 80’s.

Further information at http://theshopgalleryglebe.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/recent-works-9-14-april-opens-630pm.html 

The University of History: Vrasidas Karalis Reviews ‘The Savonarola Syndrome’ by Brandon Cavallari at The Shop Gallery

Retrieving the message of history in Brandon Cavallari’s The Savonarola Syndrome, an exhibition of paintings at The Shop Gallery Glebe, 5-16 March 2016.

shopping 1The current exhibition of Brandon Cavallari’s works gives the rare opportunity to study some of his most ambitious works and appreciate aspects of his most expressive aesthetics. As they are presented at The Shop Gallery, they delineate a formal continuity as it has evolved over the last twenty years during which Cavallari has intensified his struggle to restore thematic iconography to its former centrality.

For many years now, Australian art has been going through a post-object period. Robert Hughes stated that ‘most modern art is wallpaper’ indicating the constant temptation of modern artists to succumb to the allure of the decorative for popularity and sales. Cavallari’s works are about the expressive sensibility of colour, the meaningful referentiality of symbols and the political function of painting as social code.

His Savonarola paintings have a certain Renaissance feeling in them: Tintoretto and even Giotto seem to emerge as subconscious presences under the contemporary iconography of September 11, the rise of militant religionism, and the elimination of human agency in social affairs. Cavallari manages singlehandedly to bring the Renaissance love for the luminous, the lucid and the distinct to our modern world of broken images, indistinct chatter and depersonalised virtuality.

His paintings are brimming with messages, as all their symbols pulsate with the distinctness of their origin. Instead, however, of functioning as fragmented motifs they become synecdoches leading to a complete organic theory of history, aesthetics and creativity. Beginning with the strange fanatical monk of the late fifteenth century who essentially destroyed the great promises of humanist culture, Cavallari reminds his audience of the consequences of abandoning their will to the whims and the rhetoric of charismatic or indeed talismanic personalities.

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Girolamo Savonarola flattered the psychological need of his Florentine compatriots not to be ignored by history; he preached that they lived at “the navel of Italy” and that their city Florence would become “more glorious, more powerful and richer than ever, extending its wings farther than anyone can imagine” if they surrendered their freedom to him and his delusional god. And they did surrender for a time their freedom to his otherworldly, or as Machiavelli would have claimed, to his personal fantasies. The great works of the early Renaissance were destroyed, books were burnt and enlightened intellectuals were forced to ‘repent’. Pico Dela Mirandola, the man who wrote the eternal manifesto of human dignity, was forced to recant and submit, becoming a pious, sterile, anonymous believer.

Cavallari’s paintings frame the same fundamentalist exigencies through textured colours, complexity of vision and spatial amplitude. While avoiding overt political preaching, his paintings condense space and time into a new sense of subject matter and its aesthetic translation. They frame the political through the enhanced intensity of chromatic vibrancy and almost electrifying radiance. Robert Hughes again remarked that Francis Bacon’s “real peculiarity of his figurative style is that it manages to be both precise and ungraspable” – something that can also be claimed for Cavallari. The painter becomes again the moral consciousness of his time, liberating the surface of his canvases, that is their viewers, from their own anxieties and phobias. Cavallari’s painting, Widows’ Garden with its suggestive sunrise/sunset, offers a powerful visual statement against the certainties of modernity and the superstitions of progress. The other paintings in the exhibition also crystalize strong statements about our contemporary post-postmodernity depicting modern symbols not as irony and pastiche but as political weapons against complacency and a life without projects of renewal and change.

shop 4At the same time, despite their transcultural structuration, Cavallari’s paintings are expressive of the Australian experience in front of history using the tyranny of distance as a kaleidoscopic filter to look at the confused spectacle of contemporary realities. His Savonarola paintings are not simply political but simultaneously a kind of visual magic realism transforming the tragedy of history and the death of the political subject as the most pertinent way to address the lack of meaning and therefore the absence of authentic communication between human beings. In another of his paintings, seams and streams: a dialogue, Cavallari stretches word letters to form linear strings, at the same time straightforward and mysterious, precise and ungraspable.

Despite their small number, Cavallari’s paintings become the luminous spaces out of which a revelation emerges, as in the paintings of Delacroix and Goya. Their surfaces encapsulate and frame the visual fields of an anthropocentric culture immobilising the temporal identity of the artist and of his reality. Art critic Patrick McCaughey stated, “the authenticity of painting derives from the artists’ truthfulness to experience and the originality of their inspiration”.

What we see in Cavallari’s work is both the truthfulness and the originality being so triumphantly and enchantingly presented in an era of minimal expectations and diminished hopes. His sense of colour is his most empowering and hopeful contribution to the rather stagnant and self-consumed art world of contemporary Australia. His colours connect our social experience with one of the most interesting and contradictory periods in history and therefore transform artistic images into links beyond time, cultures and mentalities.

In an era of dreadful and disastrous fanaticisms, his paintings with the diversity of their stylistic forms, the eclecticism of their pictorial representations and the polyvalence of their chromatic intensity become windows to a future, probably equally problematic and also potentially transformable. From an era of nightmares, Cavallari’s works herald the sunrise of a new era; it’s up to their viewers to make it real.

 – Vrasidas Karalis

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Vrasidas Karalis is Professor of Greek at the University of Sydney. He is the author of numerous books including Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris, Brandl & Schlesinger 2008, A History of Greek Cinema Continuum 2012, The Demons of Athens 2015 Brandl & Schlesinger and Reflections on Presence 2016 re.press Melbourne.

More more information on The Shop Gallery visit http://theshopgalleryglebe.blogspot.com.au/

Vrasidas Karalis reviews ‘Artifacts: A Hymn To Materiality’ by George Michelakakis

Artifacts: A Hymn To Materiality by George Michelakakis at The Shop Gallery until December 6, 2015

'Blanket - Migration' by George Michelakakis

Blanket – Migration

Artists never explain their work: artists only locate their works. They point out to their viewers where they will find, through the strength of their imagination, the appropriate location of its meaning. Because, as we see their works on the walls of a gallery, of any gallery, from Glebe Point Road to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, we have the impression that they are like children who wandered off and were lost in the dense forests of human creativity. Autonomous yet alone, together with other works but totally silent.

The viewer must follow the lead of the artists and try to locate them because as Shakespeare said:

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

This is a significant aspect of George’s art: it localizes a collective loss, and establishes sites of memorialization, sites of mourning and at the same time topoi of redemption and as his calls them, spaces of transubstantiation.

George feels acutely where he is, where we are: on a foreign land, on the land of the Eora people, not simply Greek but invaders, not only Europeans but conquerors, not only ourselves but also strangers to the spiritual geography of Aboriginal land. Only the artist can bring to the light of conscience the complex and multiple levels of the existential adventure that we embody as the inhabitants of this country. We are not only migrants, not only Greeks or Mediterraneans: we are interlopers on somebody else’s heritage. We have usurped it, we have stolen it.

Yet, there exists something mildly redeeming about us; we still bring with us the signs and the wonders of our own expulsion from our paradise. Nevertheless, for George, this paradise never really existed. Our nostalgia becomes our own alibi; but the artist is here to transubstantiate the ‘lament for a time lost’ into a spiritual presence in the Australian land.

His Curtains, hide, reveal, cover, veil or unveil, conceal or unconceal: what or whom: that’s not the question. What matters is the hand that touches the curtain, the hand that lifts it or tears it down. These curtains become the litmus test of our moral empowerment to confront our own ghosts and demons. We see how carefully they have been put together: intricate folds, precise symmetry of colour and arrangement of volume. The one-dimensional space of the art object circumscribes the space of a unique revelation. It says: be bold, resist, fight back. I remember here an old story about the ancient Greek painter Zeuxis:

According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny, the Elder Zeuxis and his contemporary Parrhasius staged a contest to determine the greater artist. When Zeuxis unveiled his painting of grapes, they appeared so realistic that birds flew down to peck at them. However when Parrhasius, whose painting was concealed behind a curtain, asked Zeuxis to pull aside that curtain, the curtain itself was the painted illusion. Parrhasius won, and Zeuxis said: “I have deceived the birds, but Parrhasius has deceived Zeuxis.”

Vrasidas Karalis launching Artifacts: A Hymn To Materialitykaunchin George Michelakakis, Antigone Kefala

Vrasidas Karalis launching Artifacts: A Hymn To Materiality with George Michelakakis and Antigone Kefala (left to right)

These curtains therefore are our own illusions, ours own pretexts or in a Freudian sense our own displacements. George confronts us with the inability to be critical therefore political. With the generosity of art he transforms the fears and darkness behind the curtains into very striking gateways towards our liberation. The Curtains elucidate the inner self, they guide us through the labyrinth of our own contradictions towards the open revelations of our corporeality, of our bodily presence in a land whose spirituality we struggle to understand and internalize.

This can be palpably seen in the second part of the exhibition: Blankets and Talismans. With them George explores the materiality of crisis and social implosion that we have seen evolving for so many years in Greece, the Middle East, in Australia and worldwide. It is a profound crisis of meaning, humanism and conscience that is expressed through the humble, frayed and used blankets and talismanic emblems.

Bertolt Brecht used to say: From all things, I most love the used ones because they bear on them the touch of another skin and the aura of another being. The material harshness of the artifacts is really striking: it a protest against conformism and complacency. When I look at or touch these talismanic symbols I see the realities they indicate rising frighteningly in front of my eyes. The swastika, the Euro, the crucifix, the gospel, everything foregrounds the symbols of our subjugation, of our voluntary servitude.

Through his protest against false pretexts that enslave people, art liberates, as Brecht again said: art is the lightest form of being, which means at the same time, the most luminous and the most free, even when it depicts blackness or relies on gravity.

George’s art brings back to memory, the poem My Testament, the most famous poem of postwar Greek poetry, Mihalis Katsaros’ revolutionary Manifesto

Resist the one who builds a small house, /and says, it’s good here. / Resist the person who returns home and says; glory be to God. / Resist Persian carpets in big flats, / the short bureaucrat, / the export-import company,/ state education, taxation, resist me, who tells you to resist.

Resist all immigration services,/ all passport controls./ The terrible flags of states and diplomacy,/ the military factories,/ those who call verbosity, lyricism, / resist military anthems,/ sugary songs with lamentations, / resist all spectators, / resists all winds /all indifferent, wise men, /resist all those who pretend to be your friends,/ resist even me who tells you to resist. / Only then can we cross over to Freedom.

Katsaros’ manifesto is realized in George’s art: it is an art dedicated to the homeless, the dispossessed, the deracinated, the universal sufferings of humans under conditions of coercion, servitude, subjection. George dedicates his exhibition to these people, to the thousands of young immigrants who abandoned Greece and the millions of homeless people from the Middle East and Africa who have drowned in the Mediterranean.

Through these blankets we see both the hypocrisy of humanitarianism and the despair of the civilized conscience. Through the talismans we discern the fear and the attraction of grand ideologies, the fascist allure of the minimal self that has conquered the contemporary middle class through fear, the fear of freedom, as Erich Fromm had said. It’s up to us now to internalize these spaces of loss and fear, these no-places of despair and crisis, and transfigure them through our personal sensitivity.

‘Blanket’ (detail) by George Michelakakis

George Michelakakis’ work gives form to the chaotic universe of fears and nightmares that have bedeviled our conscience for far too long. Your work achieves something that the ancient Greek used to expect from all artistic representation: the purpose of art is to salvage phenomena, διασωζειν τα φαινόμενα. You don’t simply salvage the material world of such phenomena but also the emotional atmosphere that envelops them.

As viewers we understand the great mystery of art that embodies empathy, communion and resistance. Resistance to smugness, communion with the other, empathy for those who suffer. George has restored the hope, that art is the most political activity of the mind—a hope which in the time of sterility and hubris, seems to help us regain our ontological authenticity.

 – Vrasidas Karalis

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Vrasidas Karalis is Professor of Greek at the University of Sydney. He is the author of numerous books including Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris, Brandl & Schlesinger 2008 and A History of Greek Cinema Continuum  2012

Artifacts: A Hymn To Materiality by George Michelakakis at The Shop Gallery until December 6, 2015 http://theshopgalleryglebe.com

Two of a Kind: Mishko Desovski Reviews One & One, exhibition of artworks by Denis Mizzi and Irene Schell

One & One, an exhibition of artworks by Denis Mizzi and Irene Schell 7-11 October 2015, The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road Glebe.

Denis Mizzi at the Shop Gallery, Glebe

Denis Mizzi at the Shop Gallery, Glebe

The Shop Gallery in Glebe is not exclusive, is not pushing a particular line, it’s open to anyone who wants to rent it. They’re as happy with a video installation as they are with conventional painting. One artist next year will have a show of millinery, one group this year will have a show of animé and manga art. They’re open, but have a criteria that works should not be racist or homophobic. The current exhibition of works by Denis Mizzi and Irene Schell is mostly of abstract paintings but are produced using a wide variety of techniques from digital prints to pigmented ink on canvas.

Irene Schell - At the gallery Shop, Geleb

Irene Schell – At the gallery Shop, Glebe

One & One is a very interesting and visually stimulating exhibition in a number of different ways. Both artists in fact deal with color primarily, but they also think conceptually. In the Shop’s front room, Denis Mizzi’s works are as grey as they could possibly be, but his greys and blacks work as intense colour too. He is well known amongst friends as a conceptual thinker. Those who know Mizzi, are familiar with the artist books that he has been producing for decades. There is a kind of conceptual nihilism in his work, and within that frame he is most creative visually, and his work reduces to a kind of minimalism.

 Denis Mizzi at The Shop Gallery Glelbe

Denis Mizzi

Irene Schell’s work occupies the 2nd room of the gallery and, whilst most of her works are abstract, her approach is wildly different from Mizzi’s work. It is very colourful and has an almost innocent excitement. But as soon as you move through the gallery and look at her work a little bit longer, very quickly you realize that Irene is a wise and sensitive artist. Her wisdom is reflected in her abstract composition and the sensitiveness of her treatment of color and tonality, the mark of a mature artist.
It was a visual pleasure to see these two artists of different kinds.

Irene Schell

Irene Schell

 – Mishko Desovski

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Mishko Desovski has taught Visual Art in Malaysia and other countries and was the editor of the Sydney art magazine Wogart in the early 2000’s.

The Shop Gallery’s blog can be found at http://theshopgalleryglebe.blogspot.com.au/

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Complex, Surreal & Striking: Peter Thomas reviews ‘The Genderator’

The Genderator, an exhibition by Sissy Reyes and Jorge Mansilla at The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road, Glebe until 11th September

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As the father of a four-year-old daughter, this new work by Mexican-Australian artists Sissy Reyes and Jorge Mansilla, debuting this week at the Sydney Fringe Festival immediately caught my attention. Despite our best efforts to keep things gender-neutral at home, our daughter is already starting to distinguish between “boys things” and “girls things”.

Enter The Genderator.

At the heart of the work is a kind of mythical pre-Colombian philosopher’s stone that turns everyday objects into a genderised or Genderatored pink. The location of the Genderator, somewhere in the middle of the Australian bush, seems absurd, and this lends a kind of pop-whimsical humour to this project. Juxtaposed as it is against this proto-landscape, the Genderator soon however takes on a sinister tone, as the faceless protagonist slowly transmutes random objects of non-defined gender into “female goods”.

Speaking on the night to Mansilla he said “boys are targeted with Pirate ship lego sets, cars or toy guns, while girls as young as 3 years old are targeted with pink kitchen and beauty sets and baby dolls.” Reyes added that “if girls as young as three years old are associating pink coloured products with a kind of permission to use, wear, play, and think, they are learning from a very young age to confuse who they want to become, with who they are allowed to become.” This was eerily backed up the next day when I opened up this Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/04/toys-aimed-at-girls-steering-women-away-from-science-careers) to see that researchers are finding that “passive” girls toys may lead women away from careers in Science and Engineering.

The Genderator is a visually satisfying and beautiful cinematic work, which is both thoughtful and never more relevant in this era of twenty-four seven gender-driven marketing.

Purple Moustacho is a Mexican art duo formed by visual artists Sissy Reyes and Jorge Mansilla who have been collaborating since 2008. Influenced by the raw, often tragic, desperately humorous and everlasting colourful nature of their native Mexico the artists bring a refreshed perspective to Australian visual arts by combining complex, surreal and striking aesthetics with themes of gender, sexuality, consumerism, cultural constructs and human nature.

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  – Peter Thomas

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The Genderator 4 – 11 Sep 2015 at The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road, Glebe from Mon-Fri 10am – 6pm,  Sat-Sun 12pm- 7pm.  http://theshopgalleryglebe.blogspot.com.au/

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Adding it all up: Mark Roberts considers ‘Eight + One’ at The Shop Gallery

Eight + One. Featuring work by Lynne Barwick, Edwin Easydorchik, Nola Farman, Barbara, Halnan, Sahar Hosseinabadi, Kate Mackay, Bette Mifsud, Cecilia White, and Elke Wohlfarht. Curated by Dr Willian Seeto. The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW. Open 1-7pm Tuesday to Sunday from 27 February to 19 March 2015

Eight + One. Front Room - Week One. Photograph Dr William Seeto

Eight + One. Front Room – Week One. Photograph Dr William Seeto

The Shop Gallery is a new gallery on Glebe Point Road and is in a building that used to house The Cornstalk Bookshop and a bookbinder. Cornstalks Bookshop would be well knows to anyone familiar with Glebe during the 1980’s (I can remember a reading consisting of young poets who had been published in Neos Magazine being held in a very dusty upstairs room at the bookshop). Cornstalks continues as an online shop (http://cornstalk.com.au/). The bookbinder, Newbold and Collins which was also well-known now operates in Yagoona (http://www.bookbinders.com.au/).

The crowded space I remember has been transformed with two rooms opened up as exhibition spaces – a larger room fronting the street allowing a good view from two large windows each side of the door and a smaller room behind it with what looks like a working fire place. Curator William Seeto has taken full advantage of this space in the first major exhibition in the gallery (there was an earlier saloon type open exhibition to launch the space). Over the three weeks of the exhibition the nine different artists will circulate through the two rooms with a different grouping of three of sharing the larger front room each week. While this allows each artist to highlight their work in the larger space and to ‘call out’ to the passing foot traffic on Glebe  Point Road, it also sets up some exciting possibilities in the back room as the other works are forced into a closer relationship. Of course this relationship will change every week as the artists move in and out of the front room.

For the first week the front room contains work by Bette Mifsud, Nola Farman and Kate Mackay. The left wall of the room is dominated by Mifsud’s photographs derived from 1950 and 60s family slides. The images are familiar to anyone who grew up in 1950’s or 60’s Australia, beach scenes, the family house, lawn bowls all with that exaggerated colour that seemed to occur when kodachrome slides started to age. Mifsud has played with the images scanning, cropping , editing and and manipulating then to “create visual resemblances to impressionistic memories”. They recall a lost time, the myth of Menzies’  post-war white Australia. There is also a strong sense of family as the images reflect intimate glimpses of family – and it is no surprise to discover that the original slides were taken by  Mifsud’s late father-in-law, Doug Shearston who became a keen amateur photographer when he returned from World War Two. This family connection also creates a bridge through generations to the multicultural present as we can’t help reading the images of an imaged perfect past through a contemporary lens.

Kate Mackay’s constructions stand guard in the windows of the front room, one each side of the doorway. The larger one is a cube tower made of coloured cardboard wrapped in yarn. There is a simplicity to the structure which functions almost as a totem at the front of the exhibition. On the other side of the door is another cube construction. this time made of knitted yarn cubes formed into a larger cube. This is a playful piece, almost suggesting a children’s toy. This fascination with geometric shapes is continued in her other works which are also hanging in the front room during the first week. Rather than using space these works use the canvas as a space to spread patterns of squares, circles and triangles.

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Nola Farman takes us in a different direction with her work The Hermit’s Tablecloth. Based on a section of Eugene Ionesco’s only novel Farman’s work takes as it’s departure point a red wine stain on a tablecloth:

I stared as hard as I could at a red wine stain on the paper tablecloth. I had already tried that experiment and made it work before. It was all a question of looking at something until you no longer remember what it was. It was supposed not to be a wine stain any longer, it was supposed to become something, I don’t know what, on that other thing, the tablecloth, which was no longer a tablecloth, nor a white space, nor the site of a stain.

– Eugene Ionesco, The Hermit, Trans., Richard Seaver,

In her work the redness has become much more than a red wine stain, though it is, of course, still possible to understand the source. We have a series of works spread across a wall of the gallery, different ‘splashes’, Pollock like hakiu abstractions, a single colour on a small canvas. Up closer however the notion of a stain, accidental or otherwise, disappear. These works are carefully constructed, layered and crafted. Complex hakius , no longer a table cloth, a white space or the site of a stain.

Photograph - Nola Farman

The Hermit’s Tablecloth – Photograph Nola Farman

Moving into the back room we are confronted with at what first appears as a delicious confusion. The other six artists in the exhibition are crowded into this smaller space with little space to spare. Boundaries are not respected but it all seems to work.

Unsurprisingly given my writing background I was immediately drawn to the two artists who incorporate words and letters in their work. Words are central to Lynne Barwick’s work in the past she has covered a Marrickville Garage in text – Marrickville Garage, ‘Like A Structured Language’, May 2014 (http://lynnebarwick.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/marrickville-garage-like-structured_22.html). Here her works are more manageable in the small space with a number of concrete poems painted onto wooden bases.

Cecilia White has three installations vying for space in the small room. ‘make them space’, the most expansive, stretches across the original fire place and consists of over 200 drawings, two sculptural wordworks and small objects. The title of the work ‘make them space’ is taken from Italo Calvino’s novella Invisible CIties and, like Calviino, White is seeking to explores the “manifestation of space between the seen and unseen of everyday urban landscapes” It is an intricate work covering the space above the fire place, the mantelpiece and the space above the actual fireplace.

'make them space' 2015 Detail - Photograph Cecilia White

‘make them space’ 2015 Detail – Photograph Cecilia White

The dynamic of the exhibition will, of course change dramatically as the work moves in and out of the front room over the three weeks of the exhibition and  multiple visits will be required to comprehend the full scope of the works.

Speaking to the curator Dr William Seeto after the opening I became aware of how Eight + One fits into a larger strategy. Seeto is looking to establish a series of curated exhibitions combined with an online artist database. In the first phase, the emphasis will be on curated exhibitions in a primary location; and in the second phase, the focus will move to the artist database to promote artists and their work. The database will assist in forming ongoing links with artists to promote their work and will also assist in presenting work; assisting with grant applications and to facilitate new opportunities and possibilities for showing work in Australia and overseas. Remuneration from sales and projects associated with exhibitions and database would attract a small commission.

It will be interesting to see how this concept develops in an Australian context. In any case the work in Eight + One suggests that Seeto has a firm foundation on which to develop this concept.

Considering Bette Mifsud's images at the opening of Eight + One - Photograph Dr WIlliam Seeto

Considering Bette Mifsud’s images at the opening of Eight + One – Photograph Dr WIlliam Seeto

Exhibition Website:
http://onepluseight.blogspot.com.au/

Artists Websites:
*  Lynne Barwick http://lynnebarwick.blogspot.com/
*  Nola Farman http://www.nolafarman1.com/
*  Barbara Halnan http://bhalnan.blogspot.com.au/
*  Sahar Hosseinabadi http://saharhoss.weebly.com/
*  Kate Mackay http://kate-mackay.blogspot.com.au/
*  Bette Mifsud www.bette-mifsud-artist.com.au
*  Cecilia White http://ceciliawhite.com/
A review of Cecilia White’s chapbook, N THING IS SET IN ST NE, appeared  in an earlier issue of Rochford Street Review (https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2012/06/07/torn-papyrus-and-weathered-stone-mark-roberts-reviews-n-thing-is-set-in-st-ne-by-cecilia-white/).

– Mark Roberts

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Mark Roberts is a Sydney based writer and critic. He currently edits Rochford Street Review and P76 Magazine. He also has a number of manuscripts looking for a publisher.

The Shop Gallery can be contacted through its website: http://theshopgalleryglebe.com/#!/home

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