YU:THE LOST COUNTRY BY DRAGANA JURIŠIĆ

I’m curating the exhibition ‘Memory Betrays Everybody’ at the Black Box at the UNSW Art & Design opening in the last week of May. Comprising video, projections, prints and installation, ‘Memory Betrays Everybody’ will feature the work of Dublin based photographer and writer Dragana Jurišić and Sydney based artist, Biljana Jančić.

Ove the next month I will be presenting elements from the exhibition and information regarding both of the exhibiting artists.

Dragana Jurišić was born in Slavonski Brod, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). She is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. After the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, an entire country disappeared and nearly 1.5 million Yugoslavs vanished into thin air. Today, in the countries that came into being after Yugoslavia’s disintegration, there is total denial of that former identity. Her book YU: The Lost Country looks at the effects of exile and displacement on memory and identity from the eyes of an exile. Now, more than twenty years after the war, she feels at the safe distance to recall and question her own memories of both the place and the events she personally experienced.

Image and text taken from YU: The Lost Country by Dragana Jurišić.

Image from the book – YU: The Lost Country by Dragana Jurišić.

DEAN MANNING EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is thrilled to be exhibiting work by Dean Manning in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition opening in late August.

Dean Manning came to painting late after a long career as a composer/musician with rock groups Leonardo’s Bride and Holidays On Ice. He now regularly exhibits his paintings and animated films. He has been a finalist in the Sulman and Blake prizes, his work is held in the collections of Artbank and Deakin University.

His portrait of comic actor, writer and director Lawrence Leung was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize. Pictured is Maximum Lawrence, 2016, oil on wood.

Dean Manning, Maximum Lawrence, 2016, oil on wood.

MEMORY BETRAYS EVERYBODY

I’m thrilled to be curating an exhibition at the Black Box at the UNSW Art & Design. Opening in the last week of May, the exhibition titled ‘Memory Betrays Everybody’ will present the work of two artists – ex-Yugoslav Dublin based photographer and writer Dragana Jurišić and Sydney based artist Biljana Jančić.

Dragana Jurišić’s work for this exhibition will be focused on her acclaimed photographic book – YU: The Lost Country published in 2015. YU: The Lost Country is a book of photographs and texts depicting Jurišić’s journey across the former Yugoslavia retracing the steps of Anglo-Irish writer Rebecca West in her book, ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ written in 1937.

Initially intended as “a snap book”, Rebecca West’s book ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ spiraled into half a million words. The book is portrait not just of Yugoslavia, but also of Europe on the brink of the Second World War, and widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.

In response, Jurišić’s book examines how Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991. Today, in the countries that came into being after Yugoslavia’s disintegration, there is a total denial of the Yugoslav identity.

The key theme in Biljana Jančić’s work is displacement. She works primarily with large-scale spatial interventions. These works respond directly to architecture and socio-historical contexts of spaces. Jančić regularly exhibits work in a wide range of independent and institutional contemporary art spaces.

Recent solo shows include Surface Tension (2017), UTS Gallery, Sydney, The Cloud (2015) in collaboration with Alex Munt, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney. Her projects have been curated into exhibitions including Watching Windows (2017), by André Hemer and Andrew Clifford, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, West Auckland, NZ, 2018 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship at Artspace curated by Alexie Glass Kantor, Michelle Newton & Lola Pinder: Primavera 2016: Young Australian Artists, by Emily Cormack, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, TarraWarra Biennial 2016: Endless Circulation, by Helen Hughes and Victoria Lynn TarraWarra Museum of Art, An Imprecise Science (2015) by Alexie Glass-Kantor with Talia Linz, Artspace, Sydney and I Want to Change the World (2014), by Nicholas Tsoutas and Fan Lin, GAFA Art Museum, Guangzhou.

Jančić studied at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, completing a PhD in 2013. In 2016 she was the recipient of the alumni prize The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Award.

image from the book YU: The Lost Country by Dragana Jurišić
Surface Tension, 2017, UTS ART, Sydney by Biljana Jančić

 

JANE O’SULLIVAN REVIEWS ‘MELBOURNE COMES TO SYDNEY’ EXHIBITION

Many thanks to arts writer Jane O’Sullivan for her excellent review of our ‘Melbourne Comes to Sydney’ show.

Her hands are curled with emotion and her eyes are half-closed, as though she’s in such turmoil she can barely see the world. David Rosetzky’s portrait of choreographer Shelley Lasica is a powerful study of the way emotion is carried in the body. It’s also a theatrical opening to an exhibition of 14 artists currently practicing in Melbourne. Some, like Rosetzky, are well-known but not regularly seen in Sydney. Others are earlier in their careers. It is a diverse group, but unexpected connections soon develop.

Hanging near Rosetzky’s Shelley is Kirsty Budge’s painting How could you do this to me question mark. It’s a psychological drama, dominated by a man with outstretched arms who looms over a tired-looking woman pocketed in the corner. Like Rosetzky, Budge is interested in lines of the body and what they say about inner states, but also in lines that emphasise, divide and intervene.

In a very different way, Lynette Smith’s video Birds (a fragment) also approaches the topic of isolation, but by using the motif of solitary birds in winter.

Other artists exhibited downstairs dance in and out of abstraction and figuration. Travis MacDonald’s painting The idiots study of sound shows sound rising and curling like smoke above the cymbal of a drum set. It’s a kind of garage band cover of Roy de Maistre, but focused not on colour but the texture and direction of the brushstrokes. It’s paired with a dreamy and menacing oil painting by Nicholas Ives, where details and edges seem to hover just out of focus.

Ali McCann’s Polytechnic works are playful explorations of form and colour, with geometric objects placed into constructed landscapes. In one, a bright orange cuisenaire rod stands on its end, mimicking the way a child might ignore the intended lesson of the object and just have fun with it instead.

Also downstairs is Ebony Truscott’s still life of a festival wristband with a buckled tealight candle and dog-eared stack of post-it notes. Truscott aims for realism, but her real interest is compulsion. By translating these objects into paint, Truscott heightens our sudden need to pull or flick or squish them. It’s like being reminded not to bite your nails.

From there, the exhibition moves upstairs to Emily Ferretti’s Curvy Tree, a gentle curve with crenelated branches and a subtle play with volume.

To one side, Guy Benfield’s untitled photo presents a wild night in with a plastic tub and a bottle of cheap wine. It’s printed on a white fold-up box, like a takeaway pizza, and encased in perspex.

Elvis Richardson also looks at the domestic in her photographs of forgettable interiors. By pairing them, Richardson draws our attention to a common detail, the pictures of women on the walls. These images within images then start to form a kind of double-exposure portrait of the people who once settled in these spaces.

Kenny Pittock also tackles the everyday with humorous sculptures of sugary treats, including a Sunnyboy ice block reworked to give it a little more emotional reality.

At the other end of the hall, there are four engraved glasses by Zilverster, the alchemical collaboration between Irene Hanenbergh and Sharon Goodwin, and a harmonious abstract painting by Rachael McCully-Kerwick.

Nearby, there’s an assemblage by Tia Ansell that reads like a moodboard cut from a home renovation magazine. Called Construere, it combines a piece of woven, plaid cloth with the kind of tiling you might find on a kitchen splashback of bathroom floor, putting these domestic materials into an abstract relationship with each other, structured by gridlines. Ansell seems to be building a language that moves between the architectural, archeological and anthropological. But whichever way round, Construere is a fascinating critique of boxed thinking and the shape and texture of contemporary life.

Jane O’Sullivan

 

 

REBECCA WEST – BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON

Written by Dame Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia is one of the literary masterpieces of the 20th century.

Over 1,100 pages, the book gives an account of Balkan history and ethnography during West’s six-week trip to Yugoslavia in 1937. While researching its long and complicated history, West clarified her ideas about Yugoslavia – and about much else besides. The publication of the book in 1941 coincided with the Nazi Invasion of Yugoslavia. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is more than a timeless guide to Yugoslavia – it is a portrait of the author’s soul and of Europe on the brink of war.

Born Cicely Isabel Fairfield, Rebecca West (1892-1983) was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. An author who wrote in many genres, West reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph and The New Republic. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), A Train of Powder (1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials and The Meaning of Treason, later The New Meaning of Treason, a study of the trial of British fascist, William Joyce and others. Time Magazine called her ‘indisputably the world’s number one woman writer’ in 1947. She was made a CBE in 1949 and DBE in 1959.

West trained as an actress in London, taking the name ‘Rebecca West’ from the rebellious young heroine in Rosmersholm, written by Henrik Ibsen. She became involved in the suffrage movement. West worked as a journalist for the feminist weekly ‘Freewoman’ and the ‘Clarion’, drumming up support for the suffragette cause. In September 1912, West accused the writer H. G. Wells of being “the Old Maid among novelists” in a provocative review of his novel ‘Marriage’. The review attracted Wells’ attention and an invitation to lunch at his home. The two writers became lovers in late 1913. Their 10-year affair produced a son, Anthony West, and their friendship lasted until Wells’ death in 1946.

By the time Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia was published – in two volumes totalling half a million words – West was somewhat at a loss to discover why she had been moved “in 1936 to devote five years of my life, at great financial sacrifice and to the utter exhaustion of my mind and body, to take an inventory of a country down to its last vest-button, in a form insane from any ordinary artistic or commercial point of view”. The result, which she feared “hardly anyone will read by reason of its length”, is one of the supreme masterpieces of the 20th century.

The book’s inexhaustible capacity for self-fuelling discussion, for examining the implications of everything that it touches upon, is central to West’s structural and stylistic method. Any conclusions she draws are tied to the process by which they are being teased out. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is, along with everything else, a great flood of ideas. As with Lawrence, it is impossible to say where sensation stops and cogitation begins. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a vast, ambitious and complex book which repeatedly stresses the kinship between homely and universal truths.

Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia published in 1941

TAMARA DEAN EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is thrilled to be exhibiting a work by Tamara Dean in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition in August. The work titled ‘Conor’ is from Tamara’s 2015 series, ‘About Face’.

“My best friend once told me I have the best of both worlds, not being able to identify to one sex but flowing in and out of them and knowing my sexuality. It is still hard when people are crude or uninformed, however I have learnt that this is not my issue, it’s theirs. This is still something I work on every single day, not taking on other people’s problems, and my androgynous “look” is an asset instead of a burden.”  Conor

“There is an arresting beauty in androgyny.

Androgyny challenges our cultural conceptions of femininity and masculinity. The questions that often arise – “Are you a boy or a girl?” or “are you a man or a woman?” – suggest that gender stereotypes, learned behaviour and cultural prejudices can influence the way we perceive and in turn relate to people. For me androgyny can be perceived as a universal face of humanity…”

Tamara Dean has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. Her works are held in Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra ACT, Francis J. Greenburger Collection, New York, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, The Mordant Family Collection, Australia, Tweed River Gallery, Neil Balnaves Collection, Australia, ArtOmi Collection, New York and Gold Coast City Art Gallery.

Tamara Dean appears courtesy of Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney.

Tamara Dean, Conor, from the 2015 series ‘About Face’. Image courtesy of the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney

‘LIVE IN THE LOUNGE’

The Forresters be playing a set at the gallery this Thursday the 14th for the Waterloo/Greensquare night in Art Month.

Joining me will be Matt Galvin (Perry Keyes) on guitar and Brielle Davis (Not Good with Horses) on vocals. Kicking off at 7pm, the set will feature tunes from the soon to be released The Forresters EP.

Come along to hear some music and see some great artwork in our ‘Melbourne Comes to Sydney’ exhibition – join us for drinks from 6-8pm. The performance will be filmed as part of The Forresters music video for the track ‘About You’.

AB in the lounge

DAVID ROSETZKY OPENING THIS THURSDAY

Brilliant work by David Rosetzky opening at Home this Thursday. Join us for drinks from 6-8pm.

Pictured is Shelley, 2017, Gelatin silver print.

David Rosetzky appears courtesy of Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.

David Rosetzky, Shelley, 2017, Gelatin silver print.

CERAMICS BY KENNY PITTOCK COMING TO HOME

Home is pleased to be exhibiting new ceramic work by Kenny Pittock.

Our Art Month exhibition, ‘Melbourne Comes to Sydney’ will feature a stellar line-up of artists: Tia Ansell, Guy Benfield, Kirsty Budge, Emily Ferretti, Nicholas Ives, Kenny Pittock, Travis MacDonald, Ali McCann, Rachael McCully-Kerwick, Elvis Richardson, David Rosetzky, Lynette Smith, Ebony Truscott and Zilverster (Goodwin & Hanenbergh).

Kenny Pittock (1988) is a Melbourne based artist working primarily with ceramic sculpture and painting. Kenny’s work uses a combination of humour, wordplay, and optimism, along with just a dash of anxiety, to respond to contemporary Australian iconography and culture.

Kenny has been lucky enough to exhibit his work in many great acronyms including ACCA, PICA and MONA FOMA. As well as Australia, Kenny has also had exhibitions in Italy and Singapore. Kenny was the recipient of the 2017 Redlands Emerging artist award, and his work is featured in many collections including Deakin University, ING Bank, and the City of Melbourne State Collection.

Pictured is Three Little Pigs, 2019, Acrylic on ceramic.

Kenny Pittock,Three Little Pigs, 2019, Acrylic on ceramic.

VIDEO BY MELBOURNE ARTIST LYNETTE SMITH SHOWING AT HOME

Home is pleased to be exhibiting work by Lynette Smith in our ‘Melbourne Comes to Sydney’ exhibition. Lynette’s video work, Birds (a fragment), will be showing in The Booth.

Lynette Smith completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT University in 1995 and went on to do postgraduate study in linguistics and philosophy at the University of Melbourne in the 2000s. Her practice includes drawing, the moving image, books and text for voice. Lynette has exhibited in public, private and artist-run galleries since 2000 and been invited to residencies in the United States and Lithuania. In 2004-2005 she was on the board of West Space, an artist-run space in Melbourne.

Pictured is an installation shot of Lynette Smith’s A bewilderment exhibition in 2017, from the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. Photo: Christian Cappuro

Lynette Smith, A bewilderment, 2017, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. Photo: Christian Cappuro

RACHAEL McCULLY-KERWICK EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is pleased to announce we will be exhibiting work by Rachael McCully-Kerwick in our upcoming ‘Melbourne Comes to Sydney’ show.

This is an image of Rachael’s work from the ‘INHABITANTS’ exhibition currently showing at Piermarq Gallery – 76 Paddington Street, Paddington.

Also showing are works by Hayden Jackson and Brock Q. Piper. The exhibition runs till the 23rd of February and is highly recommended.

Pictured is Sunday, 4pm, 2018 oil and acrylic on canvas (left) Absent Mim and Hollyhocks, 2018 oil and acrylic on canvas.

Rachael McCully-Kerwick appears courtesy of Piermarq.

Rachael McCully-Kerwick, Sunday, 4pm, 2018 oil and acrylic on canvas (left) and Absent Mim and Hollyhocks, 2018 oil and acrylic on canvas.

CHRIS CAPPER EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is thrilled to be exhibiting a suite of works by renowned painter Chris Capper in our 08.05.19 exhibition. Many thanks to Damien Minton for loaning us the Chris Capper paintings for the show.

“…Chris Capper’s painting is focussed on the nexus between representational still life painting and the metaphysical aspect of formalist abstraction. Many of the works have gone through manifestations over a number of years, creating a ‘ghosting’ of previous aesthetic decisions…”

Born in Melbourne, Chris studied painting at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) in the early 1970s. He has exhibited regularly in both Perth and Sydney for over thirty years. Now based in Newcastle, Chris Capper was acknowledged with a survey exhibition at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery in 2007. Capper’s works are held in the Alexander Library, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, Macquarie University, Manly Art Gallery, University of Western Australia and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Pictured is Agapanthus and window, 2012-15, oil on canvas

Chris Capper will feature in one of Damien Minton’s 4 exhibitions over 4 weeks at Sheffer Gallery. Opening next Tuesday is ‘My City of Sydney’ featuring the work of Martin Sharp and Toby Zoates – 38 Lander Street, Darlington – hope to see you there!

Chris Capper, Agapanthus and window, 2012-15, oil on canvas