Many thanks to Sharne Wolff for her review of 27.04.17.
Home gallery’s exhibition titled ‘27.04.17’ makes for a crowded house – in a good way. Displayed in the stairwell, hallway and first floor, the work of three artists is linked by their collective use of white. Danica Firulovic’s oil on linen paintings, Jane McKenzie’s neat ceramic assemblages and Kirtika Kain’s embossed prints on paper unite in harmony.
Firulovic’s evocative white on white paintings are layered over an unprimed linen support where their almost-perfect edges reveal traces of the artist’s hand. Aside from White Circle Within White Square II each painting is composed of overlaid squares of various shapes and sizes. Moving from the delicate balancing act in Exposed Square and Tilted Square on White to the appealing symmetry of Exposed Square with Three White Borders and White Square on White III, these modest works invite the viewer to indulge in their quiet restraint.
Fitting companion to Firulovic’s work is McKenzie’s series of PoMo White small, playful ceramic sculptures, each of which is comprised of terracotta and Limoges terra sigillata. Meaning ‘sealed earth’, terra sigillata is an unrefined clay slip that was often used in antiquity in place of glaze. Exhibiting a contemporary rustic aesthetic, the terra sig resembles matt white paint while the clay is left visible at the edges of each sculpted piece. McKenzie’s irregular and round-end rectangles – sometimes marked with a ‘tiled’ surface or featuring a cut-out circle – are mobilised in lively constructions and reflect both her architectural training and the influence of 1980s post-modern architecture.
By contrast, the Indian born Kain’s embossed prints exhibit elegant, meditative qualities that subvert the artist’s political intent. Acquiring both the antique character of the paper and acquiring the materiality of their production method, Kain achieves visual effect by utilising embossing’s three-dimensional qualities. Several works titled Gated Community: Floor Plan explore the hierarchies and power structures increasingly evident in society. Referencing hollow prohibitions against caste discrimination in India, a silkscreen work titled 15 is produced with red vermillion powder – a pigment worn by Hindu women as well as the artists of the Renaissance period, among others. The paper is adorned with skewed lines of alphabet letters that cascade down the paper.
The upstairs line-up concludes with a video by Scott Sinclair. Entitled Within Without, it depicts the artist’s antics while he’s cornered under a stairwell. During the droll 9-minute piece, hands, arms and legs randomly appear through a range of small holes cut in a large piece of stretchy bronze fabric while the viewer is left guessing what’s happening behind the screen. Meanwhile, Home’s under-stair ‘booth’ is occupied by Sinclair’s Body line video. Here Sinclair smoothly manoeuvres his line-taped body to replicate a single line on a wall. It’s a deceptively simple performance and a new way to explore line and body in art. Watching it produces a rare ‘I could have done that + yeah, but you didn’t’ moment.
Home’s ground floor also accommodates a suite of paintings by Anthony Cahill and a group of Luke O’Connor’s stoneware vessels. A foil to the monochrome works upstairs, Cahill’s paintings employ a broad colour palette. Painted on a round canvas, He Came of His Own Accord connects Cahill’s new works with his previous shows, while the remaining seven paintings depart from the circular frame. His imaginary compositions disclose tell-tale shapes suggestive of landscape and each painting conceals a human figure. Fluctuations between bright and dark, and varied textures, patterns, shapes and line all contribute to bring about intriguing shifts in depth.
Texture and colour are also distinctive features of O’Connor’s thrown ceramic sculptures. Adjacent to the paintings and resting on custom-made plinths, a corner of the room shimmers with a party of vessels dripped in a medley of pastel glazes. A dose of extra character is accomplished by accessorising the sculptures with numerous ‘imperfections’ – gnarly knobs and hunks of clay protrude in all directions. On the occasion of the April exhibition, a full Home equals a good show.