Many thanks to arts writer Wilna Fourie for her review of our 27.05.15 exhibition.
Home@735 – 27.05.15
There is pleasure in looking for something. However frustrating a search might be, there is a joy in the anticipation of revelation, in trying to find what has been hidden from view. In 27.05.15, Joanna Gambotto, Madeleine Hill, Jack Banduch, Loretta Casaceli and Damien Smith present work in a variety of media from photographic installation to ceramic pieces and are all, in some way or another, peddling in secrets, pleasure and the unseen.
Madeleine Hill and Jack Banduch both use photography’s supposed indexical relationship to the real to play on the viewer’s expectation of access to the image. Banduch’s nine works in the Star Crossed series are small moments of frustrated discovery. Hanging along the corridor of this decidedly domestic gallery space, they gesture to photographs that you would expect to stand testament to the events within a family narrative. However, these found and obscured photographs are completely divorced from their original contexts. A large black rectangle reminiscent of an oversized censor bar sits within the centre of each image, a graphic monolith that leaves a framing centimetre or so of the original image uncovered. We see feet, hands, ruffles of a wedding dress and the outer-edges of significant places. The black graphic rectangle takes the place of figures or settings and emphasises the discarded nature of forgotten moments whilst simultaneously recharging the image with meaning withheld. By obscuring the centre of the ubiquitous everyday image, Banduch draws attention to the margins and what they might lead to.
Madeleine Hill’s photographic installation, Seeking, stands unassumingly in the corner of the room. Printed on paper stock that has the tendency to curl inwards, Hill has used the natural inclination of the material to assemble pillars of paper that present only thin ribbons of images to the viewer. As we circle the coiled cylinders, we try to find the rest of the images that are tantalisingly curled inwards, continuing out of sight. Presented as a ‘meditation on the sublime’, it is a gentle investigation into the vagaries of experiencing sea and sky. Hill uses the installation to explore the tension between the photograph’s aim of representation and its inevitable failure. Her work gestures to the mutability of the moment to come, hidden within the paper’s curve.
Damien Smith and Loretta Casaceli are two ceramic artists that show unbridled joy in their medium. With titles such as Ambivalent, Waiting, Lonely and Giddy, Smith’s cavalcade of small figures band together like static Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men caught in moments of pure feeling. They are simultaneously one and many, glorious parts of a whole that stand as a testament to feeling. Loretta Casaceli’s ceramic scenes offer the viewer a lyricism strongly based in narrative. Featuring multiple rabbit figures, these scenes range from a multi-character Rabbit Nativity to a large 50cm Rabbit Guardian figure. They are representative of Casaceli’s artistic preoccupation with the cunicular figure. The work Cyril’s Fall – Circus, features a group of red-jacketed rabbit riders surrounding the unhorsed figure we can only assume is Cyril. Strangely brutal, this work has a Goya-like quality that adds to the surreal nature of the vignettes. As a body of work, this stands as a testament to joyous narrative kitsch.
Joanna Gambotto presents a series of oils on canvas that walk the line between representation and abstraction. The figures in her works are seen and unseen, as parts of them are both isolated by and presented within the frame. They negotiate abstract forms as the viewer experiences the simultaneous recognitions and disassociations generated by the interplay between figurative and abstract representation. It is hard to find your footing amongst them, as such, they draw you in.
The artists in 27.05.15 have presented work that asks the viewer to look again, with no promise of revelation. There is pleasure in secrets, in searching for what has been withheld or obscured. And so we continue to look, to see what can be found if we only keep paying attention.