GALLERY TWO, THE CRANNY AND DEEP SPACE
Her Moving Presence
Friday 5 – Saturday 20 February 2016
Ella Condon, Fiona Davies, Kath Fries, Sylvia Griffin, Melissa Howe, Yvette Hamilton, Danica Knezevic, Vivienne Linsley, Sarah Breen Lovett, Sara Morawetz, Katy B Plummer, Tamara Voninski
Curated by Yvette Hamilton and Danica Knezevic
An exhibition of moving image work by twelve female artists that navigates implied and actual presence through video, projection, interactivity and screen-based performance.
The works presented are reflections of the body as presence, not solely the view of female presence in front of the camera, as the viewed being – but rather, female presence behind the camera, as the viewer/creator. Her Moving Presence explores the negotiation of the feminine self through time, space and objects. The reading of this visible and invisible presence allows the construct of an internal dialogue that affirms the understanding of our many selves. The self is determined internally: therefore the conclusion of feminine identity is never specific or absolute.
These curatorial themes are echoed in the possibilities inherent in the moving image medium. A medium dependent on light and constantly in flux, it is itself defined by both the visible and invisible, and the passage of time. Mediating, and indeed defining, the notion of ‘self’ through screen-based media is almost a ubiquitous part of being visible in the world of a technology driven society. This exhibition looks at the multifarious ways that this manifests from a feminine perspective – from the personal to the political, from gender to cultural issues, from trace to technology.
This project has been supported by
Image: Katy B Plummer, Zombie Suffragist (We Retain Hope That Cooler heads May Yet Prevail), single channel video.
This most recent moving image work Tracing Moonlight was created in partnership with Sydney Observatory and investigates methods of tracing the moon and measuring time through recording the phases of the moon over winter 2015. Filmed from the Sydney Observatory telescope, the artist was interested in the capturing the illuminated area of the visible spectrum of the moon during a blue moon and waxing crescent moon. The gravitational field and atmospheric radiation waves leave the viewer with a large non-visible region, as the sphere comes in and out of sight. The work allows us to consider the vast non-visible spectrum of sight and its potentiality.
Ella Condon is a visual artist working within photography, video, sound and installation. Her recent body of work is concerned with light, extending upon methods of tracing light over time through moving images. With these meditative and experiential works, Condon continues her exploration of the essential qualities of photography: light, time, space.
Responding to witnessing a specific medicalised death and through experiencing the context of an ICU, Fiona Davies reflects in this work, on the fluidity of the play of power dynamics and the process of co-option into what can be seen as an alien landscape.
A table top set up with viewing positions like a peep show allows the viewer to look down into a surreal landscape of homogenised real and play or pretend medicalised equipment, as it is washed by the projections of a slow bleeding out. The world within the surreal landscape is controlled and contained where its boundaries operate like a semi permeable membrane with some things held and others allowed to pass.
When the viewer bends to look into the peep holes/microscope lenses set into the bottom of everyday glass kitchen and tableware the projections then show on the back of their heads co-opting them into the landscape but not necessarily requiring their informed consent.
Fiona Davies is an installation artist working with moving image, sound and object. Born in 1955 she has practiced as a visual artist since 1986. She has exhibited widely in both gallery and non gallery spaces both in Australia and internationally.
Davies has undergraduate degrees in Applied Science and Visual Arts and a MFA from Monash. She is currently enrolled in a practice based PhD at Sydney College of the Arts.
Important exhibitions for her have included Blood on Silk at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Blood on Silk at the State Silk Centre, Tbilisi, Georgia, several group exhibitions at MAP and West in the Blue Mountains, Cementa 13 and 15 in Kandos, NSW Memorial/ Double Pump Laplace I, II and III at St Marks Aberdeen NSW, the School of Physics University of Sydney and Lincoln College Oxford UK; the foyer of the Science Building at Macquarie University, Sydney NSW; and curating three shows on death at Parramatta Artist Studios.
In February 2015 I took part in Silence Awareness Existence, a thematic group residency at Arteles Creative Centre, located in a former country school on the edge of a forest in Finland. When I arrived everything was blanketed in snow – a timeless magical winter wonderland. Yet the following week this place changed dramatically with the first early thaw of the season. Handheld – melting intimately recalls that day, how I held an icicle between my un-gloved thumb and index fingers, feeling it melt quickly within my grasp. Freezing water ran down my hand as my fingertips soon met in the middle and the icicle fell and shattered. This work evokes that sensation of time slipping away and our inability to grasp transience. Emotionally and physically feeling entangled within existence’s continuous flux and flow, watching a lingering cluster of icicles drip innocuously from a drainpipe into the ground, catching the colours of the sunset.
My residency was assisted by The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, supporting Australian emerging artists with international professional development opportunities; and NAVA NSW Artists’ Grants, an Arts NSW’s devolved funding program administered by the National Association of the Visual Arts on behalf of the NSW Government.
Kath Fries is an artist based in Sydney and a PhD candidate at SCA, University of Sydney. Her practice investigates embodied engagements with tactile materials and how these encounters can be synonymous with present time experience. Exploring the multiplicity of interconnections between our senses and our surroundings, Fries’ sculptural installations grow from a process of quiet observation and contemplation, which incorporates a sensitive engagement with site. She exhibits widely and has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award, an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, an Australia Council ArtStart Grant, NAVA NSW Artists’ Grants and a Japan Foundation New Artist Award. Fries has been an artist in residence at Arteles Creative Centre, Finland; BigCi, Bilpin NSW; Fremantle Art Centre, WA; Hill End, NSW; Fairfield Museum, NSW; Bundanon Trust, NSW; Gosford Regional Gallery, NSW; The Lock-Up Museum, Newcastle NSW, and Laughing Waters, Eltham VIC.
A projection of my mother’s monogram hovers over a blank table. A referent to my mother’s dowry linen, domesticity and family, the monogram dresses the table with light and an ephemeral, transient image. The monogram blurs, sharpens and burns out – much like memory – and speaks to a wider discourse on loss, grief and temporal shifts.
Sylvia Griffin’s work explores the complex relationship between art and trauma, examining the universal notions of memory and collective grief from a personal perspective. Her multi-media installations embody indexical notions of absence and traces, realized in the form of ephemeral work and actions with a focus on the role of names and the rituals of commemoration. In doing so, she seeks to engage the viewer in an open-ended dialogue with her art.
Sylvia Griffin lives and works in Sydney. She has exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions, has been a finalist in several major art awards and the winner of the 2013 Willoughby Sculpture Prize. She has been the recipient of the University of Sydney’s Zelda Stedman Award, several Postgraduate Research Support Scheme grants and currently holds an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship. She is currently a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Moving Portrait is a live interactive portrait that captures a likeness of the viewer as they stand in front of the work. However, this likeness is only given when the viewer is moving – if they stand still, they disappear into a void of blackness.
This work is a part of an ongoing project that aims to in push at the boundaries of portraiture and explore the evolution of the notions of ‘being’ and ‘presence’ as influenced by evolving technological heterotopias.
Moving Portrait examines the ways in which the screen acts upon notions of self and the way in which the self is acted out upon the screen. This portrait explores the oscillation between stasis and flux in being and performing self, onscreen and online.
Yvette Hamilton is an Australian artist working across photomedia, video, interactivity and installation. Her interdisciplinary practice creates work that explores both physical and virtual space through the convention and framework of portraiture. This exploration acts as a launching platform to explore the enmeshed concepts of place and being-in-the world. She is interested in the evolution of the notions of ‘being’ and ‘presence’ as influenced by evolving technological heterotopias. Her work traverses a field of oppositional relationships – human/humanoid; presence/absence; and seeing/surveillance.
She gained her Master of Fine Arts (Research) in 2014 at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and completed her undergraduate and Honours studies at University of New South Wales Art & Design. She has exhibited widely in Australia and has been a finalist in the Josephine Ulrick & Winn Schubert Award, the Fishers Ghost Art Prize, the Paramor Prize, the Meroogal Women’s Art Prize and the Iris Award at the Perth Centre for Photography. In 2015 she was a recipient of an Australia Council Artstart grant, and in 2014 she was the Sydney College of the Arts winner of the Dominik Mersch Gallery Award.
This series of work is influenced by the studies of motion and time conducted by Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey in the second half of the 19th century. Muybridge’s photographic sequences and Marey’s chronophotographs, both investigating the movement of the human body through space, have always been a source of infinite fascination for me.
In the work on display still photographs have been used to create motion through the manipulation of the image, sequence and time. I aim to question the veracity of the photographic document, and whether a greater sense of the individuals being depicted can be obtained in the resulting animated vignettes.
Melissa Howe is a Sydney based artist. Her practice involves the use of the photographic image in conjunction with drawing, film, sculpture and installation art. Her work has been exhibited at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 55 Sydenham Rd, Galleryeight, Airport North Gallery and has been featured in local and international print publications.
Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at The University of Sydney in 2004 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours at The University of New South Wales in 2010. She is currently a PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
The video work has been filmed over seven days, packing and unpacking the boot of my car with my mother’s motorized wheelchair. It is an extension of her limbs, while traveling within and without of the house. The wheelchair is a motorized machine: it is a transport device, holding the body in a sitting position. In this video, what is missing from the chair is its occupant.
Danica I. J. Knezevic lives and works in Sydney, Australia. She is inspired by the individual’s search for self and identity: what lies between female visibility and invisibility. She expresses this search through audiovisual installation and performance, drawing from psychology to examine the intimate relationships within the self. Her own history and cultural heritage informs her work, questioning her own origin and expressing these as self-reflective conclusions. She believes that we cannot know the self without looking into our own internal mirrors. By using her body and the objects that occupy her world, she finds meaning and creates an experience through a tangible self.
Knezevic is currently undertaking her first year of her PhD candidature at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. In 2013 she completed a Master of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and was the co-recipient of the Dominik Mersch Award. She completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design with Honours at Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, where she was awarded the Arts and Science award for the video installation, Bermuda 2009.
Cross pollination is a video and sound work that deals with intricate moments of interaction. Through experiments in Sonification, connection and co-existence will be translated, separated and fused again through film and sound art. Cross Pollination deals with the rich, autonomous and unique choreography of eye contact between strangers. From this implicit dance between strangers, the specific eye movements between the two participants carve a unique soundscape of the interaction creating rich noise. This soundscape is unique in the sense it is created from the data collected from kinesthetic movement in the moment of interaction, unrehearsed. The soundscape created is a fingerprint of this interaction, imploring different sense modalities to understand kinesthetic interaction in the auditory sense.
Vivienne Linsley’s is a fourth year PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. Linsley has an extensive history of interdisciplinary training in performance spanning dance and theatre. This history has influenced her work contributing to her ongoing embodied research that sits at the centre of her practice. Linsley main areas of interest and themes explored include interactive technology, live and video performance, phenomenology philosophy and embodiment theory, and fundamentally the potential of the body in real time for the audience in performance.
Sarah Breen Lovett
I lay this line, part of myself, what is felt but not in need;
immaterial boundaries visualised,
the line from the deep the past to future wishes.
I trace to confirm where once I was, the footstep, the line, the knots;
experience the place that makes us more
to enter the void, a betwixt to fall between.
I triple to acknowledge the extension, from past to now and future;
new spaces unseen, hearing sounds ’til then silent,
a presence amplified.
Sarah Breen Lovett is an artist, curator and sessional academic interested in various boundaries and relationships between the self and place. Previously this has been mostly explored in her architectural installations and exhibitions, culminating in her recently completed PhD called Expanded Architectural Awareness: the intersection of expanded cinema and architecture. Most recently Breen Lovett is venturing outdoors, beyond the safety of the building and into the landscape.
Meditations on Sadness (chance and catharsis) is the first act in a series of quiet diversions, reflecting on the burden of melancholy and the physicality of emotion. These performances for camera are a meeting point of calculated action and unforeseeable circumstance – drawing moments of personal discomfort and fragility into the public sphere through performance and its documentation.
This first Meditation work was produced in the reverberations of a larger durational performance, How the Stars Stand in which I lived in a gallery for 37 days according to time as experienced on Mars. This action, that saw my lived experience separate from the Earth’s solar cycle had left me raw – detached – emotional, living in a heightened yet isolated state where concepts of ‘day’ and ‘night’ were constantly shifting. In the context of these conditions a sudden downpour felt like a celestial reprieve, providing a moment of release and an opportunity for renewal.
Kneeling down on the sidewalk, I let the rain soak me through.
Katy B Plummer
The works in the SUFFRAGIST series pose questions about political rage, about the phenomenology of becoming radical, and about violence as a political tool.
ZOMBIE SUFFRAGETTE (WE RETAIN HOPE THAT COOLER HEADS MAY YET PREVAIL) (single channel video loop)
The time for talking has long passed.
A battle-besmirched suffragette, carrying a brutal home-made weapon, has risen from the dead. We have woken her from her hundred-year sleep; she is marching toward us and she is mad as hell. She doesn’t shrink from violence. Her rage is a virus she is ready to transmit. Condescension will be fatal and no concessions will be made.
CATACOMBS OF THE SUFFRAGIST (SHE WILL BUILD A HOUSE OF THE HEADS OF HER ENEMIES)(slip-cast ceramic helmets)
We see evidence of the suffragette’s handiwork in the form of the severed and stacked heads of her enemies, a boy-army of reactionary Halo gamers who represent the dominant hegemonic structure. We can only assume that she has eaten their braaaaains.
Katy B Plummer makes videos and installations. She likes theatre, costumes, props and ladycrafts. She is interested in radical politics, slapstick, the mythopoetic, and fraught femininity. She continually revisits the human creature’s propensity for mythologising experience, striving to transcend its animal self, particularly in the moment where striving tips to bathos. Basically, she likes high drama with its pants around its ankles.
La Mère de la Mer (video still), 2014, single channel video, 2.5 minutes. Image credit: Tamara Voninski.
The Mother of the Sea : The Water as Womb
Tamara Voninski is a photo media artist & filmmaker who works within the blurred boundaries of photography and film. Her photographs have won international awards and residencies including: International Pictures of the Year Awards, Art Gallery of NSW residency at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris and the inaugural Alexia Foundation Photography for World Peace grant. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, France and Australia over 25 years. Voninski is a founding member of the Australian based Oculi collective (2000-present). The Paris based Agence VU represents her work throughout Europe. She is currently a PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts.
© 2016. All images copyright of the artists.