Canvas :: Beyond the Frame @ White Rabbit

September 5th 2011


When it comes to White Rabbit Gallery, I’ll warn you of my incredibly biased view; I think it’s the best gallery in Sydney. A huge statement I’m aware, hence the warning. The new exhibition, Beyond the Frame, which opened last weekend, an event that only happens twice a year, has definitely lived up to the challenge.

I could tell you about every single artwork across the three levels of the gallery, but I’ll settle for a few. The work that strikes me as soon as I walk in is Song Jianshu’s In the End. A trunk of a tree stands for the length of the three levels, the top carved to a perfect tip, the roots left naturally. The serenity and organic nature the tree trunk greeting the audience, as they walk into the gallery, are two themes continued throughout.

My favourite work was by the artist collective Madeln Company’s Calm. A huge pile of rubble shaped into a rectangle is on the floor. I wasn’t sure what this was meant to be at first, but I knew there was more to it. As I looked closer I realised the rubble appeared to breathing, sort of like waves. Madeln has put a remotely powered water-bed underneath the debris to achieve this hypnotic affect. The work is a reminder of the life and hope that still breathes in destruction.

Sculpture especially is taken to its limits in this exhibit. Jump from delicate, young girl’s dresses hauntingly floating in the gallery as if without any attachments. Then to giant, black ceramic, for want of a better word blobs, that lie on the floor simulating an oil spill.

There is no denying this exhibition is spot on. But there’s something about White Rabbit that makes the gallery so welcoming, such an enjoyable experience. There is no sense of pretension about it. The guides that chat and explain the artworks on every level make the gallery a learning experience and something to be entertained by.

The Beyond the Frame exhibit is one which looks at art beyond the confines of pretty pictures in frames. See some of the leading innovators of art today at White Rabbit Gallery.

What: Beyond the Frame

Where: White Rabbit Gallery, Balfour St, Chippendale

When: Thursday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm

How much: Free




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