New Collectors – Narelle Autio, Sally Bourke, Gerwyn Davies, Eliza Gosse, Bridie Gillman, Rob Howe, Amy Joy Watson & Andy Nowell
17 April to 23 May 2020
‘New Collectors’ provides an accessible and exciting opportunity to introduce a fresh audience to collecting contemporary art. The exhibition features work from eight of Australia’s leading and emerging artists who will present works priced between $650 and $3,300.
Featuring: Narelle Autio, Sally Bourke, Gerwyn Davies, Bridie Gillman, Eliza Gosse, Rob Howe, Amy Joy Watson & Andy Nowell
Narelle Autio’s vibrant and award-winning images of Australian outback and coastal life have won her impressive national and international acclaim and captured the hearts and imaginations of viewers. One beauty of Autio’s work is its ability to speak to so many people about their own experience of being coastal dwellers. Another is the play of colour and light in the photographs, giving them a magic and painterly quality that transcends the usual depictions of the beach. Autio’s images give back to the coastline the complexity, drama and beauty that are eroded by postcards and clichés.
Sally Bourke is a Newcastle based artist with a firm footing in painting, incorporating a range of techniques producing incredibly profound outcomes. An obsessive maker, Bourke has a rigorous approach to her day-to-day studio practice. These habitual processes are evident in her paintings which often depict an image archive reconciling experiences from the past. Though abstract, Bourke’s paintings are curiously recognisable, a celebration of personal encounter and memory.
Invoking the parody, artifice and excess of a Camp sensibility, Gerwyn Davies’ work centres around the conjuring of multiple selves through the photographic image. In doing so it relies on the photograph as a highly contrived and fictitious space ripe for performance and masquerade.
Using readymade and everyday materials, characters are assembled through costume that simultaneously conceal, transform and abstract the body. These figures call attention to the surface, they exploit the texture, colour and shine of their artificial second skins. As portraits they engage a double bind, both concealing and revealing, drawing the viewer inward before ultimately eluding a close inspection.
Bridie Gillman is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, photography, sculpture and video. Drawing from her childhood spent in Indonesia, ideas of place – our experience and memories of a place – underpin her work.
Bridie is an emerging artist based in Brisbane, Australia, who completed her Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours at the Queensland College of Art in 2013. Since graduating she has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally.
Eliza Gosse’s paintings depict Australian Suburbia. Working within the canon of Australian artists who have debunked stereotypical suburbia through a “super flat” lens, Gosse comes to her painting from a design background having commenced architectural studies before transitioning to a Bachelor of Fine Art at the National Art School (2017) and later completing her Masters of Fine Art (2019).
Focusing upon post war architectural domesticity – Gosse’s paintings flaunt blocks of colour, reduced geometric forms and play off utopian architectural ideals with a nostalgic inflection.
In a time of rapid gentrification, increasingly unaffordability and rising inequality Gosse turns focus to design history. With the majority of the houses depicted now gone she questions our value assessment of past culture through the built environment. Her depictions of these buildings is not merely a love letter to this period of design but moreso an attempt to posit such homes as an integral component of Australia and its national chronology.
Rob Howe honours the qualities of a scene, exploring that which may be unnoticed. His works are evocative rather than realistic, energised by a complex play of light and colour, the tilt of a tree or telegraph pole, the smudge of a horizontal shadow. People inhabit these spaces, tenderly portrayed in brush, the edges of their form enveloped by the light‑filled settings. His portraits communicate an impression where the space between the viewer and the subject is set at a neighbourly distance. The essence is captured, the superfluous edited out –what painter Fairfield Porter might describe as “a respect for things as they are”. Howe approaches realism with an abstract brush. His exterior portraits are awash in Australian sunlight, almost squinting to bring you into focus. We have our space and they have theirs.
Amy Joy Watson & Andy Nowell
In these playful collaborative works, Amy Joy Watson’s shimmering embroideries adorn the surface of Andy Nowell’s photographic recordings of discarded vintage cans. Watson’s geometric threaded surfaces contour the facets of aluminum surface, rendering them with almost three dimensional sculptural quality.