Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Sera Waters’ ‘Dazzleland’ and Kenny Pittock’s ‘Every Kind of Shape’.
Sera Waters is a South Australia-based artist, arts writer, and academic. Waters’ art practice is characterised by a darkly-stitched meticulousness. In particular, she specialises in blackwork, and revels in repetitiveness, pattern, and crafting. Waters’ embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures dwell within the gaps of Australian settler colonial histories, examining the home-making practices of women and her own genealogical ghostscapes.
In ‘Dazzleland’, Waters further examines her ancestral past: “My ancestors arrived in waves upon Australian shores attracted by the dazzle of this land: its sunshine, mineral booms, grassed open spaces, and new opportunities to build rich lives. In making their homes and living across Australia, particularly upon Kaurna and Bunganditj Country, many were implementers of colonising change, such as planning widespread drainage, laying bitumen, marking boundaries, mining, purveying merchandise, farming livestock, and clearing and covering land with non-native species. Evidence from their lives show they gave little consideration to the knowledge and carefully-balanced ecologies which had been operating in Australia for centuries. This exhibition looks at the repercussions upon regions which have been exploited, altered, and had the ‘dazzle’ removed without due care, and without knowledge of the specificities of Country. Through the works of ‘Dazzleland’ I am asking what it means to inherit this intergenerational blindness, as well how we go forward living in this dazzling aftermath, when today what shimmers most is the scorching heat beating upon a dry and damaged land.”
This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Kenny Pittock is a Melbourne-based artist who employs humour and sentimentality to playfully respond to contemporary Australian culture, exploring the overlaps and boundaries between the public and the personal. Pittock works across a large range of mediums, including ceramics, drawing, text, and photography.
Kenny has exhibited across Australia and internationally, including at the Museum of Old and New Art, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, the Monash University Museum of Art, Artspace in Sydney, and Galleria 291 in Rome, Italy. Pittock’s work is held in collections including the City of Melbourne State Collection and the Melbourne University Union Collection.
Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two incredible exhibitions!
Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.
Image: Sera Waters, Blindspot, 2019, Found frame, cotton, gold thread, 35 x 38 cm
Image: Kenny Pittock, Every Kind of Shape, 2019, acrylic on ceramic, dimensions variable (16 pieces, each approximately 4 x 4 x 0.4 cm)
James Darling and Lesley Forwood’s installation, Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe, is now showing as an Official Collateral Event at La Biennale di Venezia, presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe is grounded in the artists’ minimalist tradition; simple, strong, and with a magnetic power to engage the viewer. But ‘Living Rocks’ is a bold departure and a fundamentally ambitious project, achieved in collaboration with Jumpgate VR, Paul Stanhope, and the Australian String Quartet. Significant in both its investigation and presentation, the installation is an inspiring and immersive experience that connects the present day to the beginning of life on earth. Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe addresses the question: what was our planet three billion years ago?
The installation connects the present day to the beginning of life. It is a memory of our origin and a prophesy of our future.
Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe has been selected as one of only 21 official collateral events of the Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice.
Curated by Dr Lisa Slade.
Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe
Magazzino del Sale (n. 5, Dorsoduro 262)
Exhibition runs until 24 November
Closed on Tuesday
Congratulations to Ildiko Kovacs and Richard Lewer, who have been selected as finalists in the 2019 Sir John Sulman Prize!
The Prize is presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.
Of the work, Kovacs says: “This painting comprises plywood covered with oil paint. I often use my hands to apply several layers of colour. I then draw into it with graphite and wax pencil. I work on the floor so I can press down onto the surface. This allows me to manoeuvre around the board as I improvise the form. The lines are webbed in the way they are drawn or scratched, appearing to have a primal quality that reminds me of scarification or Riji shell engravings.”
Of the work, Lewer says: “Last year was not a good year; I spent a lot of time in hospital with Dad who was very ill. One day I remember more vividly than the others. I’d returned to the ward for the afternoon and was watching Dad from the doorway when the doctor stood beside me and said, ‘We have grave concerns for your father’s health’. I made this work to process my reality and feelings, as deep and raw as they were.”
The winner will be announced May 10. Exhibition runs until June 30.
Congratulations to Sera Waters, who has been selected as a Finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize!
Held every two years, the Ramsay Art Prize invites submissions from Australian artists under 40 working in any medium.
Finalists will be exhibited in a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia from May 25 to August 25, with the winner announced on May 24.
Through the generosity of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the winning work is acquired by AGSA.
Image: Sera Waters, Falling: Line by Line, 2018, vinyl wallpaper (adhesive backed and removeable) and woollen long-stitches, approx. 5 x 8 cm upon 200 x 700 cm wallpaper.
Ildiko Kovacs is featured in issue 44 of Artist Profile, on the occasion of her survey show The DNA of Colour, now showing at Orange Regional Gallery.
The survey looks at roughly the last ten years of Kovacs’ work (since the publication of a monograph accompanying her survey show in 2011 at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery) and one of the highlights will be the emergence of a new stream of expressive, curvilinear paintings with a strongly graphic character. Sunrise (2018) and Highly Strung (2018), for example, use paint on card with boldly gestural and linear graphite lines worked into a richly textured and layered surface. Yet there is a recursive quality to this new work which links it back to work from earlier years. It is as though the marks then have transmogrified, constantly evolving into new marks, taking on different meanings as they reincarnate.
Henri Matisse once commented that the significance of an artist was to be measured by the number of new signs he has introduced into the language. A sign is an image which embodies the meanings distilled from lived experience. So, it is apt that Kovacs should say of a survey that it is ‘the luxury of bringing together a history of what I’ve gone through and the relationships that have shifted’.
Certainly, the joy of a survey that works is to recognise a recursive character to the work, enabling the viewer to appreciate not so much a progression in an artist’s work, but rather an ever-deepening and enriching exploration of visual experience, the seeds of which were there right from the beginning.
Image: Ildiko Kovacs, Sky, 2013, oil on card on linen, 122.5 x 103 cm.
Lisa Roet’s ten-metre-tall inflatable gorilla, Baboe, is now installed atop the Apeldoorn town hall in the Netherlands.
The artwork is modeled on Bao Bao, a gorilla who lives in Apenheul Primate Park, a revolutionary cageless conservation centre where over 70 species of apes and monkeys live and roam freely in the forest.
Baboe is a collaboration with Felipe Reynolds and Airena, and is on display for 8 months in Apeldoorn.
Images: Lisa Roet’s Baboe in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, 2019.
Nana Ohnesorge’s No Picnic at Ngannelong is now showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
German-Australian artist Nana Ohnesorge was 21 years old when she saw Peter Weir’s 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock on German television. At the time, she was deeply affected by the power, spirituality, and mystery of country and its ancestors.
After moving to Australia, further research led to an understanding of significance of Hanging Rock (Ngannelong) as a site of deep spiritual significance for the Wurundjeri people and for the Taungurung and Dja dja wurrung peoples.
In No Picnic at Ngannelong, Ohnesorge presents Joan Lindsay, author of the 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, as the creator of a myth which has perpetuated through time and continues to draw visitors to the distinctive geological formation.
The cameo format of Ohnesorge’s works reflect the domestic Victorian interior of the Lindsay Family Sitting Room which is on view on the ground floor of the Gallery. The recreation the sitting room from the Lindsay’s family home Lisnacrieve in Creswick, was an initiative by Daryl Lindsay, a member of the famous, creative Creswick family.
Exhibition runs until August 4.
Image: Nana Ohnesorge, Picnic at Ngannelong, 2018, pigment pen, acrylic paint, and aerosol on canvas, 71 x 61 cm.
Ildiko Kovacs’ The DNA of Colour is now showing at Orange Regional Gallery. Curated by Sioux Garside, the exhibition will tour to the ANU Drill Hall Gallery after its run at Orange Regional Gallery.
In thinking about Kovacs’ abstract paintings I was struck by the resemblance of her spiralling lines to the coils of DNA. Her rippling forms seem to twist into a vortex or follow an unravelling double helix pattern. The DNA code is a metaphor for the way these paintings unfold and move with colour, sparked by an excavation of inner feelings and intuition…Rippling is a term that scientists used to describe the movement of gravitational waves first discovered as ‘ripples in the fabric of space-time’ by Albert Einstein in 1905–08.The exhibition brings together over 35 major works from the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Newcastle Art Gallery collections, along with rarely-seen works from private collections.
Exhibition runs until June 18 at Orange Regional Gallery.
Image: Ildiko Kovacs, Raspberry, 2017, oil on plywood, 79.5 x 82.5 cm.
Justine Varga, Julia Robinson, and Kenny Pittock all feature in the current issue of Art Collector magazine.
Kenny Pittock, who first exhibited at the Gallery in 2018, is profiled by Jane Sullivan. Titled Word Play, the piece covers Pittock’s recent exhibitions at MONA FOMA and MARS Gallery, and his upcoming exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery:
Pittock often lights on objects that are kitsch in the sense that they are valueless or disregarded, but he draws out unexpected lateral associations that give them new meaning.
There’s sincerity in the way he tried to replicate these everyday objects, from the graphic design details of logos to the crumpled packaging, but he’s not interested in hyperrealism. “I grew up watching Wallace and Gromit. I really like seeing things slightly wonky with a thumbprint in them,” he says.
This associative mode of working means a studio packed with small pieces and ideas in development, all waiting for their opportunity. “I’m always working pretty solidly,” Pittock says. Part of what he most enjoys is assembling these individual items into exhibitions and longer narratives. He compares it to the way stand-up performances take their 10-minute sets and draw them together into a longer show with a narrative arc. “I really like the way that comedians are able to tell big jokes while telling little jokes that keep you interested throughout,” he says.
Image: Kenny Pittock, Wallets and Gromit, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 cm.
Julia Robinson features in the issue as one of five South Australian artists we need to pay closer attention to, as selected by Liz Nowell:
Her recent work, as seen in Long Ballads at Sydney’s Artspace in 2017 and The National 2019: New Australian Art, features elaborately-adorned gourds. This peculiar, phallic vegetable – that the artist surrounds in Tudor-era ceremonial attire – reflects Robinson’s growing interest in fecundity, growth, and European fertility rituals, some of which are still practiced today. With their overt phallic and seed-spreading references, Robinson’s gourd works draw strong links between nature and sexuality, doing so with a sense of candour, oddity, and playfulness.
Image: Julia Robinson, Royal Peplum, 2018, gourd, silk, thread, pins, brass, gold plating, steel, padding, and other mixed media, 140 x 80 x 60 cm approx.
Justine Varga’s Areola, which exhibited at the Gallery from February 7 to March 16, is reviewed by Andrew Purvis for One Sentence Reviews:
Amongst exquisitely-framed rectangles of colour, the image of a window repeats, signalling the reintroduction of representational imagery to Justine Varga’s photography; a return that coalesces with the artist’s ongoing investigations into the materiality of the photographic process to stunning effect.
Image: Justine Varga, Lattice #4, 2017-18, from Areola, chromogenic photograph, 165.5 x 127 cm.
Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga are now showing in Ways of Seeing at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
“With a primary focus on contemporary works, Ways of Seeing highlights over 100 recent acquisitions to the collection.”
Exhibition runs until April 22 in Galleries 9, 10, and 11 at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Image: Fiona McMonagle, Dukes, 2017, oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm.
Image: Justine Varga, Infection, 2016, from Memoire, type C photograph, 144 x 119, ed. of 5.