Many thanks to arts writer Chloe Wolifson for her piece on our current exhibition.
In its final exhibition for this year, Home@735 Gallery brings together seven artists whose diverse practices explore natural, human-made and psychological landscapes, with aesthetic threads providing surprising connections through the house.
An example of Leo Coyte’s portrait-like paintings hovers at the bottom of the stairs, and its siblings appear throughout the gallery. The series, called ‘Bumhead’, feature cartoon-like eyes, a teardrop nose, bumhole-mouth and rounded cheeks rendered in a tonally muted palette. These closely-cropped visages, chubbily pressing out from the frame, are slightly sinister yet humorous and seem almost inescapable, as they peer out at every turn.
The paintings hanging in the living room are the work of Tonee Messiah. These intuitively-formed abstract works comprise defined and translucent layers that draw the eye around and into the composition, suggesting but defying attempts to identify internal or external space – an echo of the dual identity of the gallery itself. Messiah’s works on paper also incorporate geometric forms into playful and dynamic compositions.
Grace Kingston’s soft sculptures sit invitingly on surfaces through the house, serving as a reminder of the domestic nature of this environment and a counterpoint to the pieces on the walls. They depict mossy or lichen-covered rocks photographed at the Sydney coast, and the resulting images have been printed onto fabric before being transformed into organically-shaped cushions. Kingston has added embroidered elements which confound the perception of texture and depth of these works, and the sensory experience is completed with a squeeze of the pillow which emits ambient sounds recorded at the same site.
Irene Hanenbergh’s 10 x 10 centimetre canvases each contain an impressionistic scene from nature. Some of these vignettes are made darkly atmospheric and others light-filled via Hanenbergh’s evocative daubs, and their display in groups of two or three invites the viewer to imagine a Romantic narrative as they move between these miniatures.
Mirra Whale depicts finches in small-scale paintings befitting their subject. Their forms are lifeless and contained, and their stillness is further emphasised in the shadows that they cast against a plain ground. A larger painting by Whale ‘M5 Owl’ presents what the title suggests is a victim of roadkill, in a classical still life composition atop a block. The moody greys of the scene complement the brown and white feathers of the owl which the artist has rendered with soft brushstrokes.
Mechelle Bounpraseuth’s ceramics conjure both humour and sadness, recalling iconic quotidian moments of the artist’s youth that will echo for many viewers. In this group of sculptures, food icons like mi goreng, Babybel cheese, garlic bread and jelly cups lie half-consumed and discarded, yet memorialised, in between chewed gum and cigarette butts.
Alex Karaconji’s stop-motion animation, presented in the booth under the stairs, employs a timeless sketch style to take the audience on a journey, as its title ‘The Flaneur’ would suggest, around the streets. Sydneysiders will quickly spot familiar landmarks, both high- and low-brow, as well as a first-person perspective of the protagonist reading over a coffee. It is an apt reflection of the buzzing city streets just outside the door of Home@735 Gallery, increasingly coming alive in the warming Spring weather.