3 into 1, 2005
Date: 05-Feb-2005 – 06-Mar-2005
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
3 into 1 is part of CAST’S annual exhibition program that features 3 local artists in solo shows held simultaneously at CAST Gallery.
This year the artists were chosen on aspects of domestic life and its transition into contemporary art works in a gallery setting. A common thread running through these artists’ works is the transformation they have each afforded the mundane familiarity of everyday life as it moves from a private to a public setting. From Davies’ totemic treatment of that Australian tradition – the ‘sickie’ – to Cornelisse’s exploration of the secret interactions that occur in the making process of domestic items and Meijers’ celebration of a sentimental attachment to her favourite household items, 3 into 1 considers the ambiguous qualities of domestic environments, materials and objects.
AMANDA DAVIES – SICK
The suffocating boredom of spending a few days on the couch, holed up with an illness of normal proportions, has been transformed in sick into a dramatic and powerful image imbued with the overblown grandeur of great nineteenth-century portraiture. But Davies lives in the twenty-first century – she lays down enamel paints on the back of large sheets of plastic stretched like canvas. Working from behind, backwards, she is unable to see or control what the painted image will eventually look like when the plastic is turned over. The process uses photographs and photocopies to produce works that appear less like paintings and more like the glowing images of television and computer screens. Images that have no base, no ground on which to lie, images that float as reproductions or film stills, ephemeral and ungraspable behind their plastic screen. The paradox of sick lies in its fusion of a monumental sense of dramatic mystery descending from the long tradition of ‘history painting’ in Western art and an unrehearsed domestic familiarity that places the work comfortably within a pop, soap-opera genre.
HERMIE CORNELISSE – LOOP
Cornelisse’s title, LOOP, refers to her well-established process of working across a range of mediums that includes paper, ceramics and textiles, where work in one material informs work in the next, building a process that continues to spiral and weave in and out of itself. The process of her practice mirrors the works that she makes. In ceramics, the word ‘buffer’ is a technical term that refers to the place of contact between the clay and its glaze. The ‘buffer’ is neither the form of a work nor the space that surrounds it, but the edge of both. In this exhibition, the delicacy of Cornelisse’s paper works is taken to a deeper level in the ceramic boxes, where both the forms and spaces take on an almost mechanised, industrial quality. Individually wheel-thrown, altered and glazed, the ceramic boxes resemble mass produced cardboard boxes. Made according to some eccentric pattern, the boxes are mismatched with the paper patterns on the wall, as if a slippage has secretly occurred between the original intention and its outcome. There is a sense that the works are in control of their own making – deliberately disrupting the function and order to which they should be enslaved.
MISH MEIJERS – THE TENDING OF INANIMATE OBJECTS
Meijers’ recent works have reflected two inter-related concerns: her interest in self-portraiture, particularly relating to life as an artist in today’s marketing-based contemporary art industry, and the current demands of that industry, requiring artists to consider the economics and logistics of freight and packaging in the production of contemporary art. Here, Meijers extends the idea of self-portraiture to include the objects we choose to keep around us. They are objects less of desire, than of comfortable love; personal relics that develop complex relationships with each other and the space they occupy over a period of years. Meijers selects, reproduces and reconstructs a number of these objects from her private life in a format suited to public presentation. Surrounded by drawings of the room where they used to live, these small, freight-friendly constructions gather together to await their future fate, latent with an emotional power born of dislocation and a sense of lost unity.