2020 MAY SPACE EXHIBITIONS

Julian Laffan

- Voyages, 2020

19 February to 8 March 2020

'My work is a voyage through rooms, selecting moments upon which to reflect as hand-carved meditations.  These images depict remnants and mementos of significance, alongside objects that are ordinary or everyday. The process of selecting, carving and hand-rendering is a means of remembering, gathered and arranged as new understandings. Both the momental and the seemingly insignificant are united in a single frame. A red snuff bottle evokes recollections of conversations in a Mongolian ger beside the red matchbox for the evening's fire. A can from a wharf in Mapua, New Zealand sits alongside a sweets container from Verona, Italy.  Each work exists as an unintentional relationship, as reflections of multiple places in a single captured moment, suspended as a carved and painted image in timber.
    

These works connect to the historic period when illuminated manuscripts were replaced by that of the printed image. Each work is a return to the notion of hand-coloured individual pieces, working in direct opposition to their potential as a replicated image in the digital age, signifying the importance of knowledge. This journey through an interior is an investigation into daily spaces, a new voyage of discovery for both the artist and the viewer.'

- Julian Laffan, 2019

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BLACK BOX PROJECTS Presents - Claire Anna Watson

- Neoplasm, 2020

19 February to 8 March 2020

Claire Anna Watson explores ephemeral matter as a vehicle for discussing our relationship with humanity and the environment. In Neoplasm, associations are linked between clinical procedures and the food we eat. In a surreal and visceral fashion, we are led to consider the slippage between plastic and natural realities and the extent to which humans have control over the environment. Watson reflects on how natural elements can become distorted and synthesised, creating new hybrid forms. We are asked to consider what humanity's role might be in the ongoing customisation and distortion of the natural world and whether humans are unwittingly cultivating a world engulfed in mutations.

 

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Catherine O'Donnell

- Suspended Narratives, 2020

19 February to 8 March 2020

'My art practice gives emphasis to the suburban landscape by abstracting and reinterpreting its overlooked dwellings. Using minimalism, I isolate these modest buildings from their contexts and represent only their structures to explore their compositional potential and underlying symmetry, striving to offer a renewed vision of these often-bleak landscapes.

Through my drawings, I aim both to present the formal aesthetics of the buildings and to extract the sense of humanity that emanates from lived-in spaces. I employ realism to ignite the imagination of the viewer and invite them to look beyond the mundane and banal. My work intends to reinterpret and reinvigorate inhabited environments by accentuating attributes of life and longevity, beyond physicality.

While my work displays a high level of realism, my interests do not lie in simple reproduction. Rather, I delete extraneous information and reveal signs of life, both historical and contemporary. Small moments of suspended narrative enter my images through detail; an open window or drawn curtain suggests habitation and bears witness to lived experience. These moments maintain an element of the personal within the impersonal, and as such, my drawings become active reminders of human existence. The viewer is called to delve into their own memories of home and to contemplate the individual narratives embedded in these common-place structures.

At the heart of my artistic practice are my interests in minimalist architectural structures, the pictorial power of illusion, scale and perspective and the pursuit of a shared narrative. My works seek to combine these elements to illuminate narrative within structure and to find life within the minimal.'

- Catherine O'Donnell, 2019

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BLACK BOX PROJECTS presents - Todd Fuller

- How to Raise a Siren, 2020

29 January to 16 February 2020

'A dugong is a terrible thing to waste.
If one falls from the sky, you should always do your best to catch it. If you find yourself catching one, be sure to use two hands and a light touch or even better, a jar half filled with water.

Dugongs are a type of Sirenia and are the loyalist of creatures, with their waggy-slippery tails and their shiny stiff whiskers. Dugongs are generally shy, so if you manage to see a rare dugong smile, you should always smile back. A smile from a dugong is a gift in itself.

If you are a lucky person who manages to snag a dugong, here are some handy tips for looking after him:

1. Ensure he has room to swim, and frolic and grow. Dugongs like their space.
2. Make sure their tank is always clean, a tidy home is everything.
3. Tell him stories about jellyfish, seagrass and love.Especially Love as Dugongs are very into romance.
4. Scratch his back where his fins can’t reach and be sure to keep his wrinkles clean. This rule is not just applicable to dugongs, you should also be vigilant with the cleanliness of your own wrinkles.
5. Hide him from lawnmowers, they are the enemy of seagrass which is of course a dugongs favorite food in the whole wide ocean.
6. Dugongs hate curse words so be careful not to swear when they can hear you.
7. Remember to smile when the time comes for your dugong to return to the sea...'

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Kevin McKay

- Eastern Suburbs Streetscapes, 2020

29 January to 16 February 2020

This suite of paintings explores the back streets of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs where a gritty working class history and village charm lingers despite the gloss of gentrification and the encroachment of high-rise development. Kevin enjoys finding ready-made compositions in urban environments and applies the formal concerns of compositional design with the particularity of place as he seeks a theatrical intensity in the ordinary.  Stillness and transience compliment each other in his road-based paintings where architectural forms provide a fixed point in contrast with the flux of light; a momentarily parked car; or randomly placed 'street furniture' (wheelie bin, witches hat, road sign etc); or indeed the conduit of the road itself, a constant in the ever changing city.

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Hendrik Kolenberg & Evan Salmon

- Urbanscapes, 2020

29 January to 16 February 2020

Evan Salmon and Hendrik Kolenberg share an interest in making paintings of their suburban environment – streets & traffic, houses & rooftops, cranes, telegraph poles & wheelie bins, domestic and industrial settings, the working harbour, parkland & waterways. They find their subjects in the familiar everyday or commonplace, the city & suburbs as well as further afield. For Evan that includes landscape near at hand; for Hendrik, Rotterdam, his birthplace. It isn’t place that matters to them as much as the power of light to transform, intensify or surprise them.

This selection of recent paintings  features subjects close to home for each of them, around Warrawong, south of Sydney and Eastwood in Sydney’s north west, each typical of modern urbanism and its unencumbered spread north, south and west of metropolitan Sydney. Painting En Plein Air has preoccupied Evan for some years now, while Hendrik constructs his paintings from drawings and studies in pen & ink, charcoal and oil on paper.

Evan and Hendrik draw together (which is how their friendship developed) and with others but painting is a private occupation for them. This is their first exhibition together.

(images on the previous page)
Top: Evan Salmon, Truck depot, Port Kembla 1, 2019, oil on linen, 51.5 x 61cm
Bottom: Hendrik Kolenberg, House fronts, First Avenue, Eastwood, 2019, oil on gesso on linen on plywood, 63 x 72cm

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