Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
It came like light out of the walls
In the Neighbourhood
Thursday 13th June – Sunday 21st of July, 2019
West Gallery Thebarton
32 West Thebarton Road, Thebarton, South Australia
If you live nearby or are passing through, please call in to explore our collage with your own eyes. And should you feel inclined, please share an image or two (#Itcamelikelightoutofthewalls).
Recently landed: “The stability of nature can no longer be taken for granted”, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) looks at our functioning (or not) ecosystem on the page as part of our forthcoming exhibition, It came like light out of the walls
We are delighted to invite you to our exhibition Through a glass eye at the Australian Print Workshop. If you are free and curious to see this work with your own eyes, we’d love to see you at the opening.
APW President Joe Connor & APW Director Anne Virgo OAM invite you to the first exhibition of APW’s French Connections project
Australian Print Workshop is proud to present the results of a major international project French Connections, curated by APW Director Anne Virgo OAM, planned in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia and made possible by the generous support of The Collie Print Trust.
Four leading contemporary Australian artists, Martin Bell, Megan Cope, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison joined APW on an ambitious research trip to Paris (May 2018), to explore French Connections with our region — with a particular emphasis on the interplay of natural history, the history of science, empire, art and anthropology relating to early French exploration of Australia and the Pacific, as well as other French/Australian connections.
APW and the Artists’ privileged access to study rarely seen and highly significant collections in leading museums has informed and inspired the production of an exciting new body of work in the print medium. This is the first of a series of French Connections exhibitions at APW Gallery.
2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday 1st of June, 2019
The exhibition runs until Saturday the 29th of June, 2019.
Australian Print Workshop
210 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Happy to see our collage created especially for Sophie Cunningham’s City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest (‘Trees of Life’ by Raphaelle Race, p. 30) in the current edition of The Big Issue (17–30 May, 2019, No. 587), with Greta Thurnberg on the cover.
We heartily recommend you grab a copy of both book and magazine.
Max Porter’s novel Lanny begins with Dead Papa Toothwort slipping “through one grim costume after another as he rustles and trickles and cusses his way between the trees”. He is the Green Man myth of decay and renewal, of chaos growing into hope; “he pauses as an exhaust pipe, then squirms into the shape of a rabbit snare, then a pissed-on nettle into pink-strangled lamb. He plucks a blackbird from the sky and cracks open the yellow beak. He peers into the ripped face as if it were a clear pond. He flings the bird across the forest stage, stands up woodlot bare, bushy, and stamps his splattered feet.” He is tree bark and discarded Western rubbish. He changes form. He is unfixed and without end. He pauses, roughly the size of a flea, to listen to and gargle the fizz of human sound.
And I am reminded of this shapeshifting ability each time I enter Dancehouse not knowing where I will go and what the space will be, pausing, in my own way, as an exhaust pipe before later mutating into a flea. I am especially reminded of this as I enter the upstairs theatre space for the white-cell artifice and confinement of Lara Kramer’s Windigo, were performers Jassem Hindi and Peter James wait.
Hindi and James are two sunken forms, slouched into (and possibly becoming) two mattresses. They continue to mark time as the audience fills ‘their’ space, their no-man’s land, and assume it for their own: that’s the one-sided deal, right? They are wasting time, in a wasteland of debris and mattresses. And they are in a way, jangling in their “various skins, wearing a tarpaulin gloaming coat . . . . tingling with thoughts of how one thing leads to another again and again, time and again, with no such thing as an ending”.
Lovely to see our Print Council of Australia 2004 commission, A lament to the sleeping kingfisher, on display as part of Imprint: A Survey of the Print Council of Australia at Parliament House, Canberra, until the 12th of May, 2019.
This special exhibition featuring prints from the Print Council of Australia’s archival collection includes some of the first prints created by significant Australian artists, including the first Print Commissions, John Brack’s Untitled (Skaters), 1967, and Fred Williams’ Lysterfield, 1968, and the first Indigenous Australian Print Commission, Bush Figures by Ku Ku Imidji man Arone Raymond Meeks, along with works produced by PCA founders Grahame King and Udo Sellbach.
The Commission, which began in 1967, invites artists to submit a limited-edition print for consideration by the PCA and its members. This has resulted in an archive of more than 600 prints, illustrating the rich history of contemporary Australian printmaking.
Works of master printers and innovators including Noel Counihan, Barbara Hanrahan, David Rose, Ray Beattie, Bea Maddock, Earle Backen, Ruth Faerber, Hertha Kluge-Pott, Olga Sankey, Judy Watson, Janet Dawson, Mary MacQueen, Raymond Arnold, G.W. Bot, Yvonne Boag, James Taylor, John Coburn, Jenuarrie Warrie, Maria Kozic, Wilma Tabacco, Rick Amor, Treahna Hamm, Robert Jacks, Bruno Leti, John Olsen, Michael Kempson, Susan Pickering, Andrew Ngungarrayi Martin, Belinda Fox, Georgia Thorpe, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Gosia Wlodarczak, Rebecca Mayo, Janet Parker-Smith, Rona Green, Sophia Szilagyi, Glen Mackie, Tama Favell, Elizabeth Banfield, David Fairbairn, Graeme Drendel, Deanna Hitti, Sue Poggioli, Maria Orsto, Samuel Tupou, Pia Larsen, Deborah Klein, Cat Poliski, Heather Koowootha and Glenda Orr will also be on show, as will a diverse range of printing techniques representing styles from the late 1960s: from relief printing (carving into lino or wood where recessed areas don’t hold ink and transfer to paper ink-free) to intaglio (etching, engraving, aquatint, drypoint, mezzotint) and planographic (lithography and screen-printing) as well as digital printing.
While the exhibition is mostly Print Council of Australia works — fifty-eight works — the remainder are from the Australian Parliament House Art Collection, including two new acquisitions, linocuts by artist Jenny Kitchener, recipient of the 2017 Print Council Commission.
The Print Council of Australia was established in Melbourne in 1966 by printmakers Udo Sellbach, Grahame King and curator Dr Ursula Hoff to promote the artform of printmaking. The 1940s–60s had seen the return to Australia of European-trained artists, sparking a resurgence in the importance of printmaking and its commercial viability.
(Print Council of Australia)
It is the smell of composted ingredients I notice first as I make my way along the passage. A blend of animal manure, rainforest mulch, leaf mould, washed river sand, and loam, giving off that warm garden smell. A mound of steamy soil, piled high in the Magdalen laundry of the Abbotsford Convent; a soil mix for holding moisture in a space still damp from its history. Soil might be a source of nutrients for growth, but in the dirt and dust and sadness of the laundry, its steam is overpowering on a humid autumn night.
Change the location, and a normally pleasing smell of pottering about in the garden alters how it is felt. This cavernous space is airless. I feel like I am being herded into a shed, like livestock penned in against the night and her predators, albeit gently, curiously, by a raft of smiling ushers who motion with torches “mind the cables,” “there’s room along the side wall.” Sand, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, overwhelming! Overhead, a moth crashes into the light. It flutters. I stand. There are not enough seats. (Earlier, audience members who most needed a seat had been asked to come forward.) Grass clippings, fungi, and bacteria! Vermiculite, from the Latin vermiculari, to ‘be full of worms,’ too. The urge to flee, or at least stand near to an exit is strong: I don’t want to put down roots here, in neither laundry’s past nor soiled, oppressive present.
And yet I do, for atop this mountain ‘full of worms’ sails Jill Orr. Majestic and unassuming, simultaneously. Both as assured captain of the craft and as a canvas for the audience to project their own thoughts upon. Legendary. Orr and her boat. Her surname alone, an oar, a navigational means, but I reckon she’d be pretty tired of hearing that. Presented by Dancehouse in partnership with the Abbotsford Convent as part of Dance Massive 2019, “emerging from an installation conceived for the Venice Biennale as a response to the terrible fate of asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australian shores, Dark Night explores the crumbling humanitarian ideals of a world in crisis. In this embodied installation, embracing the dramatics of scale, volume, tone, rhythm and movement, a series of images are performed.”
Thirteen dances. Thirteen stages. “13 meditations on death and loss.” Stephanie Lake’s new work, Skeleton Tree is about death and loss, and in being about death and loss it is also about love and hope. Someone to farewell, to grieve over, an ache to feel and perhaps to heal. A recognition of presence: I existed; I ended. I live on, hopefully. I am remembered; remember me.
Thirteen songs as “a ‘funeral playlist’ . . . describing particular emotional states and the insistence of time.” Just as Lake cautions that the thirteen “vivid portraits” do not follow a thread of narrative or consequence, the portraits depict more than one experience of death and loss from more than one point of view. The performers, James O’Hara, Nicola Leahey, and Marlo Benjamin are the body that passes, and the mourners that live on; they are the departed and those left behind.
And at times, their pulsating movements even read like separate yet interconnected organs within the human body as it begins to shut down. As the pulse increases and the body temperature swings from hot to cold, they skitter. They throb as a red rash above the heart and across the back of the kidneys as blood gathers to answer the alarm call of the major organs. Dance movements like failing organs: this look at death is bodily.
This look at death is frank: death is certain. This look at death is affirmative, unsentimental, and clear-eyed.
“Women of the world, take over, because if you don’t the world will come to an end and we haven’t got long.”
I am looking up a YouTube video of Ivor Cutler’s single ‘Women of the World’ from 1983, recorded with Linda Hirst through Rough Trade Records. Google’s Ad Rank Algorithm complements the experience, while revealing my search history, and now a physiotherapy advertisement appears poetic.
Floating in a ‘click-me’ image box, a photo of an extended leg, shown from the knee down, rests on what appears to be a couch or some form of bedding. In the background of this modern day chiaroscuro composition, an open cat carrier sits. Its small blue door is ajar, but no cat to be seen. The mood: everyday dismal. The illuminated leg occupies most of the frame: barefoot, yellowed big toenail. Around the ankle, a red ring from where a tight sock has cut into the flesh. Not breaking the skin, just too tight. Uncomfortably tight. Beneath this image, the poem, ‘4 Signs Your Heart is Quietly Failing You’. I have also been searching/finding/reading Anne Carson’s woe and odds and phosphorescent-by-lamplight chalk foxes, which Alice Dixon, William McBride, and Caroline Meaden feel convey what it is to be alive in this “heartbroken little era”. I have been swimming in the words that pool together photographs of refugees “pressed flat against one another” and mushroom collecting with John Cage by way of an ordinary lakeside dip. And it is all in there, the poetry and Google searches, the typing in caps lock, bold. The tragic and the everyday. The signs your heart is quietly failing you. All of this and more poured into Lady Example, presented by Arts House as part of Dance Massive 2019.