Darren Gannon

- Memento, 2019

27 February to 17 March

I have lived most of my life on the southern coastal fringe of Sydney. A good deal of my adolescence was spent surfing on the south coast, camping on isolated headlands or sleeping in cars! As is now evident, the years spent in this environment are embedded in my memory and hold significant meaning for me. I feel a sense of calm and nostalgia when I start the descent from Stanwell Tops down to the coast road and head further south. This may appear to be a romanticised point of view, and to some extent I am happy to concede that it is. When I started painting, it was this landscape I used as a reference point, and it still resonates strongly with me.

The paintings in this show are drawn from the landscape of the area, however they are not strict renderings of a particular spot, they are made from memory. A memory that recalls thick moisture laden atmosphere, a languid, and at times, melancholic emotion. They are made of thin glazes that veil each previous layer of paint, much the same as the natural atmosphere affects our view.

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Nicole Welch, Transformation

- Black Box Projects, 2019

27 February to 17 March

The moving image work Transformation is the latest instalment in Nicole Welch’s ongoing Self series, which was initiated as part of her Illumination works in 2012. In these cinematic works, Welch uses her body as an apparatus and the landscape as a tableau. Undertaking performances in the wilderness, Welch explores the symbiotic relationship humans have with the natural world to reveal the fragility and strength of both. As a continuation the Transformation footage sees the artist engage directly with the natural world through a journey undertaken (journey), and a waterfall (arrival); a universal symbol of renewal, healing and ultimately, transformation.

Filmed over several hours on location during the heart of winter in the lower Blue Mountains, Transformation exposes the artists body to the elements. While the figure is Welch, the symbolism is universal. She embodies a lineage of women through time as a homage to all women – past, present, future. The journey sequence is a celebration of our unique connection to nature, our shared strength and resilience, the cycle of life, mortality – the arrival scene is an act of transformation, both mythical and personal, local and universal.

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Ruth Ju-Shih Li

- Florilegium, 2019

27 February to 17 March

Throughout time, we – with all our far-reaching diverse cultures and histories – have always been obsessed with but one eternally ephemeral conceit: life itself. It is this preoccupation that dominates, influences and ultimately dictates our collective behaviours, psychologies and spiritual neurosis; especially in the wake of realising life’s impermanence and facing its ending.

Yet, with every ending there begins anew; whether such renewal is achieved through encapsulation via memory, narrative and myth, physical transformation, or transcendence beyond the tangible and the mundane.

Drawing inspiration from the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden where these concepts were first introduced, Florilegium refers to the gathering of extracts from a larger body of work – a metaphorical meditation – from the first dream of utopia, to the physical co-habitation of life, its ageing and gradual decay, and lastly its return to the earth. Moreover, the exhibition investigates the fragile paradox of life and death in relation to the self and its extension outwards to consider the transitory nature of the human condition.

- Shiyan Zheng

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Shelf Life

- curated group exhibition, 2019

6 to 24 February

Shelf Life will consider the still life genre, with a particular focus on representations of bottles and containers, ubiquitous items that we use to carry, preserve and contain. An artistic linchpin since the 16th Century, the lush bouquets, glistening silver vessels, ripe fruit and lifeless game animals of early still life paintings became more humble as Realism, Impressionism and then Cubism watched artistic subjects and techniques change. The genre took on a three dimensional form through Dada, and as shopping carts began to fill with more packaged produce in the 1950s and 1960s, many Pop Artists let consumer goods take centre stage. Shelf Life will display paintings, photographs, sculptures and video artworks that aesthetically speak to different moments in the history of the still life. Hoarded, forgotten and expiring on shelves and in sheds, the vessels we use to store liquids, medications, toxic chemicals, food and other substances will be the central subject matter of these traditional and contemporary takes on an art historical genre.

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