PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR EXHIBITION PROGRAM HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
The Renaissance of Earth
2019 Mudfest award
The Renaissance of Earth is motivated by the feeling that humanity is resting on a precipice, with climate change, overpopulation, conflict and economic crises threatening to push us over the edge. This exhibition explores various themes including the world’s broken economic and political systems, and the struggle between maintaining the status-quo and finding new and sustainable methods for existing in our environment. These ideas are handled in a manner which intends to be nuanced yet also convey a sense of unease. Underpinning everything is the deep connection and expansion of the natural world which we as human beings seem to have lost touch with.
The painting process has become an outlet for the complicated emotions that are elicited by reflections about the state of the world and the artist’s own privileged position within ‘the system’. Thus, each piece possesses a unique essence; from darkly satirical and desolate to hopeful and teeming with life.
Meezaan Dickinson is a Melbourne-based artist whose work consists primarily of large scale, acrylic paintings. These almost always feature a black background in order to offer high contrast with the vibrant colours employed for the paintings’ subject matter. Her style takes inspiration from both hyperrealism and surrealism with detail oriented focus. A common theme loosely connects these pieces—humanity’s relationships with nature and the state of the environment. This is represented by elements of flora and fauna which are included throughout to form a motif.
Meezaan Dickinson, Hand in Heart. Acrylic on paper, 2014
Photography by Lucy Foster
Rosanna Blacket, Freda Drakopoulos, Julien Comer-Kleine, Iona Mackenzie and Jacq Wylestone
SceneUnseen is a group show by five emerging artists who have recently graduated from The Victorian College of the Arts. SceneUnseen is the outcome of these artist’s interest in exploring and revealing present, yet unseen forces in our social and constructed environments. Through a diverse range of arts practice the artists seek to expose less tangible aspects of place and space that meld, react and influence our experience of being.
Iona Mackenzie’s installation explores intangible places and how they can be accessed through tangible objects. Inspired by the way sentimental items such as passed-down keepsakes function as portals into internalised spaces, the work invokes narratives from dreams, memories and stories. Rosanna Blacket’s work delves into the library where remaindered books are marked for destruction. In this act each author must balance those countless hours of research against the temporal and very small place each of us occupy in the vast web of humanity. Jacq Wylestone presents oil paintings
produced in several intense minutes while walking the university campus lanes and streets. Paint is applied directly to a hand held board that acts as palette and working surface. Engaging with the body’s unseen sensory system, Jacq exposes an unusual figurative image; one that is both from and of the body. Julien Comer-Kleine creates work that embodies the ecologies of forces present within various sites. Using diverse methods to record these sites he creates works representative of the complex ecologies present to bring them into a dialogue with the space they are exhibited. Freda Drakopoulos presents a ritual. A representation of self and other, through the private and the public:
I will meet you again.
On another star, under a different sky. Between different seas. Under a new moon.
After the eclipse of the final sun.
These whispers and memories work together so that each component within SceneUnseen adds its own voice to the dialogue, offering breadth in the undercurrent of readings.
Jacq Wylestone, Walkingpainting 1#22 (detail). Oil on hardboard, 2018
Photography by Lucy Foster
Solar Eclipse investigates the 1922 expedition in Wahall, Western Australia that proved Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Using various time-based techniques, the work seeks to investigate duration. Printed in the darkroom using expired photographic paper and different finishes, these prints refract light in different ways to recontextualize temporal narratives.
Fiona Shewan, Untitled. Silver Gelatin Print, 2019
Justyne Allen, Anabelle Aronica, Evelyn Pohl, Mona Quilty and Jessie Turner
False Plasticity is an exploration of the materiality of resin. Ranging in practice and function from jewellery to sculpture to taxidermy, this exhibition brings together works that demonstrate the diversity of this material and its applications in contemporary art.
Justyne Allen, Dirty Word. Epoxy resin, rhinestones, stickers, 2019
Time is an experimental project informed by the artist’s health education background and interest in the health benefits of meditation. Through slow motion video and ambient music, Time aims to induce a meditative state of mind.
Sixia Hu, Time. Digital video still, 2019
Evelyn Pohl and Yundi Wang
ALL IN. BIZMETH. GO LIVE. GROWTH HACK. IDEATION. ITL. LIMITED BANDWIDTH. MOVE THE NEEDLE. PIVOT. PUSH BACK. YELLING AT THE CLOUD.
The Musical is an experiment that will attempt to find out if selected people, who haven’t worked together, can be compatible collaborators.
Evelyn Pohl and Yundi Wang, Diagram. Digital edit, 2019
I got some things to tell you
oh hey it’s yuying
hmm i’ve got some things to tell you in person tho…
come to the gallery after lunch I’ll be there waiting for you
Yuying Pang, I got some things to tell you, some things. 2020
You can hand it over if you want
James Ashley, Anthea Kemp, Jackson McLaren, Madeleine Peters, Seth Searle, Caitlin Shearer, Elynor Smithwick, Eugene Stewart, Lachlan Stonehouse and Joseph Doggett Williams
Curated by Jackson McLaren and Caitlin Shearer
You can hand it over if you want utilises collaborative poetry and painting practices to rearrange the outdated trope of the ‘solitary artist’ and asks painters to actively engage and interfere with each other’s work. Playful modes of collaboration are called upon to realise the potentiality of making things together, in the hopes of beginning conversations, sparking narratives and fostering a dialogue of connectivity.
Jackson McLaren and Caitlin Aloisio Shearer, The Painter’s Table and Hi, How are you?
Acrylic Paint, watercolour, pencil and letraset on birch panel, 2019
silences between ticks of a clock: Absence and Erasure in an Age of Cultural Palimpsest
Rosanna Blacket, Madeleine Lesjak-Atton, Nina Sanadze, Gail Smith, Tina Stefanou and Mimmalisa Trifilò
Curated by Matthew Siddall and Karl Halliday
In an age characterised by the widespread integration of digital media in our lives – granting all connected a platform to record, speak and enact – do acts of forgetting, disappearance and silence become forms of resistance? silences between ticks of a clock invites the critical insight of six graduate Fine Arts students from the Victorian College of the Arts to engage with themes of the archive and amnesia, individual and collective memory, ageing and mortality, and institutional inclusion and exclusion to consider the roles that memorialisation performs in shaping contemporary experience and the public consciousness, bringing about new understandings of what it means to act and not act today.
Informed by her background in architecture, Rosanna Blacket constructs acoustic and kinetic assemblages from found objects, producing transportative situations that draw connections to times and places far apart. Drawing directly upon the walls, floors and ceilings of exhibition spaces, Madeleine Lesjak-Atton explores alternative ways of interpreting space by activating the container of display through her sensitive and intuitive demarcations. Georgian artist Nina Sanadze re-presents former public monuments to explore how ruling powers employ and destroy visual symbols to reorganise collective memory in support of particular ideological values, calling into question the forces that supply our political realities. Using analogue technologies and family photographic archives as a means of processing the past, Melbourne-based artist Gail Smith meditates upon the intimacy of familial relationships, the fluidity of memory, and the residue of grief. Tina Stefanou works across painting, sculpture, sound and the moving image to examine the ways the human voice is used to produce interactions between humans and nonhuman entities. Mimmalisa Trifiló is a transdisciplinary artist who exercises methods of intercultural dialogue, institutional
critique, pedagogy and ethnobotany as a means of creating situations to engage public audiences within alternative spaces.
Matthew (Matt) Siddall is a curator and arts worker based in Narrm (Melbourne). Siddall hails from Perth, where in 2018, he served as co-founder and co-director of Cool Change Contemporary. Previously, Siddall was co-director of Moana Project Space from 2017 until 2019, where he co-curated ‘It Is a Long Time Since This Moment’ as part of the Unhallowed Arts Festival. Matt is currently studying an MA in Art Curatorship at the University of Melbourne. Karl Halliday is a curator, photographer and writer working in the non-profit and public art festival sectors between Narrm (Melbourne) and Boorloo (Perth). Halliday holds an MA in Art Curatorship (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne. Recent curatorial projects include ‘Co-ordinates: Perspectives on Place in Contemporary WA Photography’ (Pig Melon, 2019), a fundraiser exhibition featuring WA’s leading photographic artists with all proceeds from artwork sales donated to an Indigenous-run charity.
IMAGES: Installation photos of silences between ticks of a clock: Absence and Erasure in an Age of Cultural Palimpsest
George Paton Gallery, February 2020. Photography by Christo Crocker
VCA Art Breadth students, Winter 2019 and Summer 2020
Supassara Tripun, Grace Averil, Georgia Nelson, Arfie Soyler, Eloise Ferguson, Rui Xian Ng, Jocelyn Shu Yee Hng, Nina Basoor, Ivy Weng, Amy Vuong, Tianci Liu, Ruoyi Gan, Li Sha Ooi, Marcus Stella, Caitlin Hausler, Minjin Kim, Tyler Meredith, Shuxin Guo, Yuet Tung Alisa Poon, Jessa Koncic, Yuan Gao, Xiaotang Guo, Elizabeth Locke, Ruochen Mao, Huanrong Pang, Mia Quist, Jenny Yang, Leela Bishop, Andie Kliene, Joshua Kulasingham, Sanduni Liyanage, Ruby Martin, Rebecca Rasmussen, Catherine Zhang, Siyuan Jing, Kevin Luu, Monique Burns, Yen-Lin Chu, Amelia Dunstone, Yunjia Jiang, Sam Konig, Meaghan Kooy, Kenen Machado, Saskia Peachey, Baagavi Saseetharan, Ananya Sundar, Gigi Wong, Yiwei Zhou, Zheng Yang You, Yuxuan Zhang, Caitlin Amores, Britney Trang, Tiarn Binder, Georgia Taylor, Nevindee Jayasingha, Sally Song, Ruby Jiang, Letitia Seng, Carmen Lao, Haeran Song, Hoang Anh Le, Sirena Nguyen, Ruby Hubbard, Elaine Irons, Pemiga Santaannop, Hannah Goldman,Cheryl Gunawan, Tracey Chong, Yutong Bu, Jessica Bourke, Olivia Baumgarten, Moller Bartekian, Chulin Zhuang, Selina Moir-Wilson, Hailan Chu, Zixuan Yu, Haochen Qin, Yipeng Zhang, Montague Velthuis, Olivia Tunney, Dana Tan, Sofia Persson, Jessica Dwyer, Isabella Donoghue, YiZhen Cai, Orlaith Belfrage, Niji Yang, Raya Yan, Tianchen Xu, Grace Walton-Girle, Emma Prowse, Nur Iman Sofiah and Hailey Molina
Coordinated by Celeste Chandler, Andrew Seward and Ebony Truscott
On the last day of the Breadth Intensive, Art and the Botanical, students learn how to make a full watercolour painting of a potato – the humble, often overlooked but hugely significant member of the Solanaceae family. In the process, students spend five or more hours concentrating their vision and thoughts by actively looking at one subject in one place and in real time. For many, unfamiliar with this fundamental discipline of visual art and with a limited knowledge of an artist’s simplest tools, the experience can be very challenging. And yet by the end of that day all have achieved not just a representation of their subject but also their own version of the experience of looking itself. They have bypassed theory with their intelligence to produce highly personal, expressive and communicative objects. In short, they have made artworks.
Arife Soyler, Untitled. Watercolour, 2019
Photography by Christo Crocker
Madeleine Minack, Kaijern Koo and HeeJoon Youn
Against Rationale brings together three artists whose works engage with degrees of fixation against understandings of logic. In an incessantly chaotic world, the artists explore obsession with the initially meaningless as a method of generating a sense of security. Against Rationale forms a community of bodies which address fragility, desperation, and nurture in a world of precarity.
The exhibition creates an intimate space for the seemingly insignificant to have a voice and place, as collected by the obsessed. In an ostensibly senseless world, the fleeting is often lost or overlooked. Against Rationale coalesces the artists’ individual
practices to create a sense of nurture for that which is normally neglected, elevating transitory moments and objects. Like modern defence mechanisms, Kaijern Koo, Madeleine Minack, and HeeJoon Youn explore nonsensical fixations with the initially mundane, as if countering the illogical with the illogical.
Through a process of collection, Madeleine Minack perceives and accumulates discarded found objects to produce small, intimate sculptures which reflect minute details of normally unnoticed everyday matter. HeeJoon Youn combines paintings and engravings to explore the effects of texts and signs in generating a sense of comfort amidst the mundanity of everyday life. Kaijern Koo creates paintings which act as structures of devotion, in worship of that which provides insurance in an uncertain world.
Kaijern Koo is a Singaporean-born, Melbourne-based artist working primarily in paintings which incorporate quiet sculptural elements. Her practice is informed by tendencies toward obsession in the face of desperation, bleeding into examinations of the arcane, ritual, mysticism, and belief. Through her work, she hones in on such tendencies as they reveal themselves as attempts to fabricate certainty in, and to understand, an unstable world. Madeleine Minack is an interdisciplinary, contemporary artist who works primarily in installation and sculptural practice. Her practice derives from a process of accumulation, collecting discarded found objects to produce small, intimate sculptures which reflect minute details of normally unnoticed everyday matter. Through this process of collection, she creates something that from a distance looks insignificant but upon close examination becomes detailed, complex bodies of works. Made out of forgotten things and re-presented with wax and string as binders, the small sculptures (often no larger than a thumb nail) form a home or nest for that which would normally be lost. HeeJoon Youn is an interdisciplinary artist who predominantly engraves on glass screens which float over her paintings. Based in Melbourne, her practice explores deceptions inherent in remembering the past. As a response to the seemingly incessant chaos of the information saturated society, reminiscing about the ‘simpler’ times becomes a form of coping strategy. She combines engravings and paintings and takes a comical approach to the defence mechanism as a means of rationalising the otherwise irrational process.
Madeleine Minack, Untitled (gone but not forgotten). Metal, plastic, thread, 2019
Photography by Christo Crocker