BE KIND REWIND
Rewind to 1976. Pretend you had 175, 218 VHS videos; you pressed play and began to watch them all. A total of 60.1 years would have to pass before you reached the end. Fast forward to somewhere in 2009 and stack each video up and you get Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s megalithic sculpture Life Span. Towering over visitors at the 2009 Venice Biennale, the work serves as an ominous reminder of how quickly our latest technology becomes obsolete. The connection? 175, 218 VHS tapes with a running time of 60.1 years, equals the average human life span in 1976, the same year the now out-dated VHS was released.
JOHNNY ROMEO ‘DEADWOOD’
Johnny Romeo’s Deadwood comprises of 16 pop-inspired celebrity portraits, from Marilyn Monroe to Heath Ledger as Batman’s the Joker. As you walk into the exhibition, Elvis Aaron Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, immediately captures your attention. The entire space is filled with various celebrity portraits and creates an illusion of being with Hollywood stars. The image of Monroe is a tribute to the hero of Pop Art Andy Warhol, who was responsible for her iconic portraits. The bright and dark colour arrangements emphasise celebrities’ lives which are simultaneously glamorous and bleak.
A FORGOTTEN PLANTE
Ada May Plante was initially noted for her portrait and figure painting. Influenced by Cezanne, her style was converted and eventually she became regarded as a leading modernist. Works such as The Road Menders, 1934, appear spontaneous, somewhat sketch like and brightly coloured yet her technique was careful and meticulous.
She was the recipient of several prizes during her studies at the National Gallery School, Victoria and Acadmie Julian, Paris, however, once noted amongst fellow painters and critics, including Arthur Streeton and Alan McCulloch, Plante remains relatively unknown. She died in 1950, following her only solo exhibition in 1945.
China, China: Recent Works in Porcelain by Ah Xian is a series of 40 hand-painted, porcelain busts produced in 1999 in collaboration with artisans from Jingdezhen, China, the historic centre of Chinese porcelain. Inspired by the relationship between nature and mankind, Ah Xian attempts to capture the way human consciousness is created through existing landscapes. The idyllic design of each bust is unique. Their closed eyes and expressionless faces juxtapose life and death, tradition and innovation, art and craft. Overall, the beauty of China, China lies in its poignant telling of the cultural identity of the artist and his values as an Australian immigrant.
IN-HABIT:PROJECT ANOTHER COUNTRY
In-Habit 2012 Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan multimedia, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation
In-Habit: Project another country is not only a multimedia exhibition representing variable dimensions in limited space, but an interactive and continuous installation arousing the emotional attention to the life of the cultural outsiders. By means of encouraging audiences to participate in the constructions of tiny houses via recycled cardboard boxes, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan the two Brisbane-based artists reveal a strong contrast between the idea of utopia and the reality of Badjao children. These distinctive houses, which derive from the makeshift Badjao houses on stilts in the southeast of the Philippines, are narrating numerous real stories to prompt the reflection of our contemporary world.
In-Habit: Project Another Country was open from 2 August to 8 September 2013 at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.