Watch This Space...

A curated exhibition of graduating students' work, 2008

2-20 December

When Brenda May established Access Gallery in 1985 it was with the view to supporting emerging Australian artists.

To this end, this exhibition presents a current selection of the best work being produced by graduating students.

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Angela Macdougall

- New Sculpture, 2008

4 to 29 November

Nature serves as a source of ideas, memories and perennial sustenance. The seeds, flowers and botanical life in this exhibition aim to show the processes, energies and mysteries of nature. For example the bronze sculpture ?Bower of Beauty? is a representation of a flower fallen from the tree, withered after being detached from its life source but it retains some of its form and colour. The flower would usually be left to decompose; the sculpture brings to attention that which usually goes unnoticed and discarded without a moment?s thought.

The exhibition will also depict the relationship between humans and the natural world, examining how the body can both be a vehicle for human interaction as well as conveying emotional responses to the environment.

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Liz Deckers

- New Work, 2008

4 to 29 November

The core of many homes is no doubt the kitchen. It can be a compelling space, with its rhythmic flows and steady promise of satisfaction. On top of food preparations, guests, discussions, arguments and homework sessions, our kitchen also hosts my art practice, doubling as a studio.

Not surprisingly, art making and kitchen duties merge. Dried orange peels become the support for a set of etchings. Once printed, the segments are sewn into small objects and dipped in paraffin wax for preservation. The white pith is great for carving too. Kitchen towels become apron-like objects that comment on the position of those who carry out most kitchen chores. Over the stove, the wax basins are heated, and the assembled towels become immersed in yellowy beeswax that still smells of honey.

I throw in a slice of left-over toast, see what happens?

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Andrew Best

- New Sculpture 2008

7 October to 1 November

Ultimately, my sculptures are drawings in space. Having a strong passion for drawing, I have played with, and developed, the notion of capturing movement. This interest in movement led me to the natural and machine worlds - growing and mechanical motion. Using circular forms and mild steel to represent the machine, the emanating arcs and curves in my designs depict the organic as I aim to achieve a synthesis of the mechanical and the natural.

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Waratah Lahy

- Nightlife, 2008

7 October to 1 November

My work addresses stereotypical aspects of iconic Australian culture, challenging how we define ourselves by examining the everyday. Painting is my primary medium, combined with found objects that reflect and enhance the nature of the ideas being explored.

My practice bridges questions of cultural identity, vernacular culture and iconic emblems with aspects of my own biography. Family photographs and my own documentation of significant events, people and places, are used as the basis of my paintings. I also explore ideas of the miniature, the emotive power of objects and the use of humour and playfulness as a means of expressing the conceptual concerns of the work. I am particularly interested in the way in which small-scale works can entice the viewer into the visual and emotional space of the work and can visually occupy as much space ? if not more ? than a work that is already physically big. The intention of making small-scale and miniature work is to suggest an ironic deflation of the ?size? of Australian iconic culture.

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James Guppy

- Fay, 2008

9 September to 4 October

The Fairy of Sharp Edges is my first step towards a new body of work. Below are some discordant impulses as I begin.

The Shorter Oxford dictionary says that the word Fay means both fairy and dross. This seemed relevant to me. The traditional fairy is invisible, an unseen power, but has become historically reduced from a place of cautious respect to quaint irrelevance.

I grew up with the safe Edwardian fairy folk of Arthur Rackham only later in my teens discovering the otherworldly demented Victorian fairy painter Richard Dadd. This is a long way from the post-Tolkien, ?World of Warcraft? universe of elves and dwarfs in today?s youth culture.

The other impulse is empathy for the women around me. As a bastard male born to a single mother in 1950s England, I grew up surrounded by strong women yet I remember my mother saying she felt herself becoming invisible as she aged. Now I hear the same thing from my partner and ?middle aged? female friends. My experience of women?s power has been a positive one so I am distressed by their feelings of disempowerment.

I hope the study shows clearly that my fairies will not be the delicate quaint creatures of my childhood; nor the contemporary fluoro coloured fusion of American and Manga cartooning. I want them to be powerful creatures of the gaps - both generous and vindictive in turns; the spirit of the sphinx and siren embodied in flesh.

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Rodney Simmons

- New Works on Paper and Painting, 2008

9 September to 4 October

The temperament that determines my works on paper is not unlike that which drives the paintings on canvas. I toy with the economic line, the affected stroke and the rhythmic calligraphic pattern. However, seeing this alone as an inherently dishonest reflection of both the internal and external worlds, I admit the anarchic, the stumble, the obscured and the struggle for redemption. I think of the Australian bush - chaotic and damaged yet achieving a beauty separate to the more uniform austere landscapes.

With all of my work I seek moments that are almost beyond me ? that surprise me. I find this helps the work endure. I seek a certain amount of unity but never completely. A need for flux, discord, the unnerving, the mistake, the possible ? all are essential ingredients to some level ? whether it be as frayed edges or like virulent graffiti.

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Morgan Shimeld

- Tracing Constructs, 2008

12 August to 6 September

My recent body of work takes inspiration from the built environment, aiming to capture the essential elegance of a Modernist design aesthetic. Its formal constructs are derived from building facades, a deconstruction of the grids of vertical and horizontal planes that make up city skyscrapers. By segmenting, scaling down, refining and detailing these forms, I explored a series of sculptural variations reflecting the core, minimalist aesthetic of the modern urban scene.

As an artist, the conceptual act of deconstructing, reconstructing and the processes of making, gives me a sense of control over and a deeper understanding of the sometimes overwhelming cityscape we inhabit today.

The wire and zinc pieces in this exhibition evolved while I was engaged in the long process of casting and cold working the glass pieces. Their more open structures were developed through long contemplation and consideration of the initially opaque and undifferentiated glass shapes. As I traced their outlines I could see a different form emerging, like a three-dimensional architectural sketch. So I set about constructing these new shapes out of steel wire, welding together each frame-like segment and carefully removing sections to make it optically correct. The wire structures express a quality of skeletal, tensile strength that makes a strong counterpoint to the glass pieces. The laser cut zinc pieces were the final derivation of this ?skeletal? idea ? flattening out the images even further, and giving them the reductively graphic quality of a technical drawing.

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Anne Ross

- The Other Side of Midnight, 2008

12 August to 6 September

"But I don't want to go among mad people,? said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here."
- Lewis Carroll

'Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.'
- Charles Baudelaire

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Robert Boynes

- Afterimage, 2008

15 July - 9 August

"In Robert Boynes?s art there are no radical departures in style or imagery, instead it is like a dialectic process where one series gives birth to another series in a process of opposition. His previous series of work consisted of strong, chromatically vibrant paintings dealing with urban environments. This one, in contrast, is almost monochromatic..."

"The setting of these new paintings remains the city, but now it is seen through a watery veil. This relates to the effects found in film noir imagery which has been an influential source for Boynes throughout his career. His techniques of art production have remained fairly constant. He employs a photographic screenprint, on a large scale, where the source imagery includes night scenes in a city, the effects of water running over glass and a fragment of a television screen. This has been transferred with acrylics onto canvas... and then the whole image has undergone a process of metamorphosis with prolonged manipulation by hand."

"Since retiring from decades of teaching, Boynes in a plethora of exhibitions has confirmed his place as the artist of the urban environment. He seeks to segment, juxtapose and contrast slices of vision, constantly obscuring clarity, as we are invited to explore images seen through a flow of water and to observe the world as fragments which we see "through a glass darkly"."

Excerpts from Sasha Grishin, ?Robert Boynes, Street Stories?, Australian Art Collector, #41, July - September, 2007, p.273

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Memento Mori

- a curated group exhibition, 2008

24 June - 12 July

A memento mori is an object that is kept as a reminder of the fact that death is inevitable. The term originates from Latin and translates loosely as ?remember (that you have) to die?.

The idea that a work of art can function as a memento mori is a central theme of this exhibition. More broadly however, the artists in this show examine the place of memory in art - art as memorial, as memento and as keepsake.

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Marc Standing

- Teraphim, 2008

27 May to 21 June

I have always strived to engage the viewer not only on a visual level but also emotionally and psychologically. The majority of my work portrays the emotive characteristics of fear and displacement which have become distinctive ways of dealing with the reality of our ever changing urban world.

This new body of work is moving towards a more fragmented accumulation of ideas, where the incorporation and juxtaposition of iconic symbols depict a contemporary culture gone awry.

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Carol Murphy

- Sculptural Forms III, 2008

27 May to 21 June

The third exhibition Sculptural Forms 3 continues the theme of a sculptural representation of the human figure in the medium of ceramics. In these works the body is treated in a minimalist fashion with the paring down of surface detail and features. There is a detached, moody aspect in the facial expressions.

The body parts are polymorphic shapes, not always recognisable as the limbs they are depicting, becoming part of the work through their positioning in relation to each other. There is an off centre placement of the heads and a conscious use of positive and negative space - often expressed in a playful manner and repeated throughout the works.

Some have cavities for water catchment incorporated in their design which is an added dimension, by the use of another also tactile element. These works are a prelude to larger works which may happen in the future.

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Introducing ...

Lorraine Biggs, Will Coles, Mylyn Nguyen, 2008

29 April to 24 May

We are very pleased to present this small group exhibition aimed at showcasing the work of artists who are new to the gallery. These three artists all work in extremely different ways.

Nguyen narrates fantastical stories of which her artworks form the souvenirs of her newly discovered wonderlands.

Biggs utilises historical referencing, in painting and drawing, to comment on contemporary political issues such as deforestation and reconciliation in her home state of Tasmania.

Finally, Will Coles works with concrete to create replicas of the objects through which we receive our information on the state of the world - TVs, VCRs, remote controls - he embeds them with statements that subsequently question that information, those that provide it and, ourselves.

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Lezlie Tilley

- Summer Sounds, 2008

29 April to 24 May

Landscape - openness, clearing, panorama, vista, open country, view.

Painting - depicting, graphic, brushwork, representation, perspective, pictorial, photographic, atmosphere, contrast, canvas, scenic, decorative.

Photography - reproduction, replica, impression, imitation, semblance, image, shadow, picture, snapshot, film, exposure, negative, blow up, develop.

Map - chart, plan, sketch, computerised, process, survey, projection.

Pattern - composition, construction, organisation, design, arrange, computer set, draft, order, system, intelligible, decoration, motif.

Flatness - horizontality, perpendicularity, vertical structure, evenness, levelness, press, flush, plane, dryness, tedium, sameness, dry, arid, soporific.

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Jim Croke

- New Work, 2008

1 to 26 April

I am continually amazed at how exciting it is to make art works. Even after making sculpture and drawings over a long period, through all the ups and downs of the creative process I get a thrill every time I enter my workshop. The studio is my favourite place to be on the planet. When the sculpture hasn?t gone easily and if, at the end of an exhausting day, I am not happy with the decisions I?ve made or the progress I?ve made it only confirms the value of making the work.

Art making is so difficult that when it succeeds it is sweeter precisely because of the struggle. Occasionally works do come together more easily and I am immediately suspicious of them. I look for the reason. Am I kidding myself? Will the work hold up in the test of time? Those works have to be left in the studio in order to mature. They cannot be let out until I am sure of their integrity.

Because art making is fun it is doubly important to take it seriously. It is serious fun however it must not be made for instant gratification but rather for the long term. The rewards it gives the viewer must grow over time and be sustained for the years to come. I hope that the passion I feel for the work, and the joy I receive in making it, is also transmitted to the viewer and gives them much pleasure.

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Still Life

- Group Exhibition, 2008

11 to 29 March

A bunch of flowers and a bowl of fruit?

This exhibition draws on the long history of still life arrangements within western art practice. The contemporary manifestations of this genre on display here often provide tongue in cheek references to the tradition of which they are a part - they rearrange inanimate objects in unlikely combinations and in mediums not necessarily associated with the still life genre.

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- a curated group exhibition, 2008

11 to 29 March

In the same vein, our Narrative exhibition will exhibit the work of contemporary artists for whom the art of storytelling is a crucial concern. The stories that they recount are extremely varied - historical, biographical, fantastical, whimsical - what unites them is their commitment to forgoing the written word in favour of the visual in the communication of their individual tales.

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Sybil Curtis

- A Touch of Water, 2008

12 February to 8 March

Many of us are drawn to the sea where we play on its edge, are lulled by its rhythms and imagine long journeys to distant places. However, shorelines are the most unstable places on earth as wind and water cut into rock and take away sand. We build near them at our peril. Perhaps more damaging to human structures than the dramatic destruction of storm surges is the slow corrosion from salt as it penetrates and swells.
All is transient.

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Melinda Le Guay

- In Touch, 2008

12 February to 8 March

The skin is a vital organ, a surface organ affecting all aspects of human relationships and related to pleasure, particularly through touch. However psychological factors determined by personality, stress and social environment can manifest observable changes in the skin, reflecting the complex unconscious dimension of the psyche to reveal what the French philosopher and scientist Dagognet called 'inside the outside'.

As a surface for self-expression, this permeable membrane is both resilient and fragile. Skin can be embellished through cosmetic and other aesthetic procedures to express how we feel about ourselves, but it can also be damaged or disfigured reflecting deep disorder.

The work for this exhibition engages with the idea of the skin as an interface between an inner and outer world and presents an exploration into the skin not only as a site of tactile engagement with reparative and healing possibilities, but also as one of conflict.

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Sculpture 2008

- In the Elements, 2008

16 January to 9 February

'In the Elements' examines the particular characteristics that enable a work of art to withstand the elements - with no restrictions on scale, material or subject matter.

This show will be part of Sculpture 2008; on exhibition in selected Sydney galleries each January. This regular event was established at Access Gallery in 1998 and continues to be a platform for the promotion of sculpture.

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