Review :: ARTSPACE Group Show

August 1st 2011


For a moment you’ll think you’ve entered a psychedelic 80s dance-a-thon when you enter ARTSPACE’s newest collective show at Woolloomooloo.

Reason being, the first thing you hear when you walk into the gallery is funky disco blaring from contemporary artist Deborah Kelly’s latest collage project called, 'Beastliness'. Alongside this, expect to see 'Writing in the Wall' by Praneet Soi and Brook Andrews’ installation work, '18 Lives in Paradise'.

Kelly’s 'Beastliness' is an animation based upon a series of analogue paper collages completed over the past three years. The work exemplifies a number of central concerns within the artists practice; namely the beauty to be found in the hybrid and the idealisation of femininity. The Barbie doll-type protagonist morphs into a fox, there’s a female nude with six breasts and a wolf-like persona pirouettes, jumps and slides across the screen. Complimentary to her animation, Kelly is running a month long workshop where participants partake in the making of a communal collage.

Praneet Soi’s 'Writing in the Wall' is exactly what the title suggests – a mural on a specially constructed wooden wall. It's not unlike Kelly’s in the way it examines the idea of social displacement. At the epicentre of Soi’s work lies an exploration of the individual in today’s complex world and a questioning of the possibilities of locating a familiar landscape within power hungry nations. Founded on geo-political ideology, we see a mammoth black figure with etchings and a quickly brushed on monochromatic colour scheme to denote the plight of the human race in the face of implied totalitarianism. The figures in Soi’s work are expressionless, suggesting a sense of lost identity and abandonment of ‘self’.

Next is '18 Lives' in Paradise, a large-scale cubic installation work by Brook Andrews. Andrews' work takes form as a makeshift wall, representative of a barrier, and toys with ideas of inclusion verses exclusion and protection verses prohibition. Our gaze shifts over a series of eighteen images, which have been screen-printed on hundreds of cardboard boxes. Colliding with one another, the photographs show indigenous people and culture, circus acts, military servicemen and religious followers. Alternating between black and white and colour, Andrew’s work invites audiences to figure their own interpretation of narrative by imagining how each photo is interconnected.

What: ARTSPACE Group Show

Where: ARTSPACE, 43-53 Cowper Wharf Rd

When: Tues – Sunday, 11am-5pm, until August 21


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