Shotgun 9: The clouds have cameras
Shotgun 9: The clouds have cameras


Alex Davern

Opening: 5.30pm, Friday 30 April 2021

Exhibition: 1 – 23 May 2021

Contemporary Art Tasmania

Shotgun is a Contemporary Art Tasmania artist development program that supports selected Tasmanian artist/s through a customised and intensive program of high-level industry access, critical engagement and the production of new work. Shotgun 9 was awarded to Alex Davern. Work developed through the program is presented in The Clouds have cameras, a multimedia installation incorporating language, real versus imagined space and immersive colour. Alex Davern’s practice combines reductive abstraction and the representational. Within his work, Davern aims to harness the emotional qualities of light through the depiction of architectural space and void.

The clouds have cameras is a perverse reality, a saturated landscape dedicated to the construction of desire. With reflection and projection, meaning is conjured artificially as we move, from one station to the next, with captivated, hypnotic progression. We strive towards an almost religious hearth, which sits at the centre of the exhibition, like a beam of sunlight punching through the clouds. But the scene is repeatedly interrupted by the trembling glitch of flickering light, the buffering of the video screen, the drone of industrial noise, which hints at another dimension, of redundancy, and the eerie glow of the metaphysical, where time stands still, and all is not what it seems. Like Plato’s cave, Davern’s installation presents us with a conundrum: its series of projections are far from an accurate representation of the world, but our reality nonetheless.

– Max Delany (catalogue excerpt) 



I like the idea of personal structures.


They are definitely personal,

but I feel like it’s universal.

I let people come to the works

and make their own associations with objects

and symbols

and space.

I enjoy that they will interpret that differently than I have.



It’s about creating voids of space.

You have a little detail that you can focus on,

but I want you to be washed with colour and space…

that feeling of it just sort of covering you,

you’re in that dimension.


Conceptually it’s infinite.

It goes nowhere.

It’s just magic.

And it keeps growing.


– Michaela Gleave text (catalogue excerpt). Based on a conversation between Shotgun artist Alex Davern and program mentor Michaela Gleave that occurred on 28 February 2021. The passwords accompany the video work, BURNOUT.


The Shotgun 9 Selection Committee comprised Pat Brassington (artist, CAT Board representative), Michael Edwards, (CAT Director), Kylie Johnson (CAT Shotgun curator) and Lucienne Rickard (artist, Shotgun alumni). Now in its 9th edition, the program has been reframed through a Residency at Home model. Initiated in response to the challenges of Covid-19, much of the value of Shotgun 9 occurred online enabling involvement from national and international mentors with the program strengthened by local artists and technicians. Alex worked closely with artist Michaela Gleave; ACCA Director, Max Delany; writer and artist, Craig Judd; lighting designer and artist, Jason James; video maker and animator, Simon Ward and musician Ben Simms.



Image credit: Alex Davern, BURNOUT (still), 2021, single channel video, HD stock footage (looped, colour, stereo sound). Courtesy of the artist and Bett Gallery, Hobart.

Video credit: Jesse Hunniford

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