Review :: Library of Disturbance
August 19th 2011
Nick La Rosa
They’re weird and they’re wonderful. They’re creepily seductive, dark and frightening. They’re Suzanne Archer’s works in her latest show at Wilson St Gallery on Danks, Library of Disturbance. Currently on offer is a body of work centralised on challenging the state of existence and meaning. Archer presents a number of mixed media paintings, sculptures and prints that are full of drama and define the tension between life and death.
Translating across all works in Library of Disturbance is the motif of the figure. Layers of paint are built up in her paintings to create rough textures and give added emotional depth to the alarming facial expressions we observe. Archer’s colour palette is overwhelmingly dark and hints at the idea of investigating the hidden aspects of humanity. The artist doesn’t crowd her canvas with a chaotic haze of figures, which is what one might expect when seeing a show toying with the idea of existence, but rather chooses to employ refined composition to foreground the utmost sinister expressions of the individuals who appear in each work.
Grotesque is the word that perhaps most fittingly describes what Archer is going for her. Her papier-mâché sculptures are flooded with text often concealed under layers of thick paint. Interestingly, the artist pulls from dictionaries and books phrases that often recall feelings of anxiety, fear and pain, one such being “libretto of lunacy.”
Despite expressing work of such a tortured nature, Archer is one who seems to be fearless. Fearless in the way she delves into life’s uneasiness and fearless in the way she tackles the uncertainty of death.
What: Suzanne Archer Library of Disturbance
When: Until 21st August
Where: Wilson St Gallery at Danks
How much: Free