Framed :: Alex Pye

September 25th 2013

Idiot Proof, 2013

Idiot Proof, 2013

Draw a wire fence and a few ragged gums. The country landscape incarnate. The boring oils an ancient art teacher frothed over. The dry Australia you could never relate to. The ultimate cliché of Australian art history. It wasn’t all that long ago that Alex Pye was waking you each morning on Up For It. Now our proud FBi graduate is busy flipping stereotypes and ingrained art codes on their head. Working out of the tiny town of Cumnock in country NSW, her work brings the country into a postmodern artistic realm dominated by ideas rather than rolling plains.

“Colonial Australia has done its best to obliterate Indigenous lore and culture and the land mythologies that accompany it, and yet the imported ones from the Western canon are maladjusted to this place.” – Lauren Carroll Harris, exhibition catalogue 2013.  



Landscape Intervention #1 (Shocking Pink) 2013, collaboration with Adrian Gebers

Alex’s multidisciplinary practice  negotiates the country, intimately linking the identity of the individual with that of the ground beneath their feet. The voice that permeates the typographic works is drenched in isolation, confusion, a raw and unfiltered reflection of one’s surroundings. The city, country divide is summarised in what once was a rusted, bloody rabbit trap, power-coated with bold polymer paint and placed in an equally desolate, stark white corner of an inner-city gallery. 

Pass the dead horse 2013

 Pass the Dead Horse, 2013

We got up in Pye’s face with a few questions. Draw a wire fence and a few ragged gums opens tonight at Archive_ and is well worth a sticky-beak.


1) How did you find yourself in the art world?

I dunno! I’d like to study so many other things, but making art is really rewarding. I guess that’s it. Art is ridiculous, and making ridiculous things is really appealing.

2) What led you to Cumnock?

After uni my girlfriend Yasmin and I decided a break from the city was a smart move. It was just too expensive as artists to live in Sydney and rent a house and studio. My parents run a sheep and cattle farm nearby, so moving to a remote location was a bit easier with some family already there. Living in the country has been a great place to study a few things outside of art, such as permaculture, agriculture and horticulture. We have chickens and are able to grow most of our own vegetables. It’s a really healthy lifestyle.

3) Your upcoming exhibition deals in part with alienation and displacement. Have you ever considered packing up and heading back to the big smoke? Or is the complexity too inspiring for an artist to abandon?

It’s very alienating in Cumnock. It took us awhile to find our feet in such a small community. Since moving there, the open space has been inspiring to both our art practices. There’s not as many opportunities to exhibit out there so we find we are both in Sydney pretty frequently.

4) Apart from rabbit traps, what else should we be worried about snagging our ankles in?

As well as some powder coated rabbit traps, the exhibition comprises of collaged landscape paintings, a powder coated steel text work, a cow skin and some hand crafted toilet seats. I’m very happy with the toilet seats. For this show I’ve been working with found industrial objects and pairing them with handcrafted items I’ve made myself.

5) You’re an art critic (& probably now more alienated than ever). Review the exhibition for us.

A ripper of a show.


WHAT : Draw a wire fence and a few ragged gums, an exhibition by Alex Pye

WHERE : Archive_, 5 Eliza Street Newtown, 2042

WHEN : Opening tonight 6pm – 8pm


More Info | Madeleine Clarke


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