Kudos Gallery 2015 Exhibition Archive

Space one | Taken to Task

Back to Kudos Gallery

Space one

Taken to Task

Brown Council, Katthy Cavaliere, Beth Dillon, Michaela Gleave, Amala Groom, The Kingpins, Claudia Nicholson, Giselle Stanborough, Julie Vulcan. Curated By Dara Gill. Publication by Minty Samuels

24 February - 7 March 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 24 February 2016, 5-7pm

Taken to Task celebrates the work of female artists and collectives whose work deals with performative and task orientated processes, documented through video. The exhibition traces a linage of female artists using video as a means to explore aspects of duration, labour and performance; often utilising simple actions that connote complex concepts and histories.The artists selected all share a relationship of having exhibited at Kudos Gallery and have contributed greatly to the community at UNSW Art & Design in various ways over the last two decades. The exhibition will also include the work of current students and recent graduates who are continuing on in this tradition.

The exhibition also marks the reopening of the gallery after renovations. Kudos has undergone a significant refresh of the gallery space and we would love you to come and celebrate its reopening!

Event Image: Michaela Gleave, ‘Waiting For Time (7 Hour Confetti Work)’ Video performance executed live via Youtube, 10 May 2014.

Monster Island | Shannon Field

Back to Kudos

Monster Island

Shannon Field

10-14 March 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 10 March 2015, 5-7pm

Monster Island explores contemporary Australian masculinities through its fractured colonial past. In particular the exhibition addresses the manner in which Australian masculinity is haunted by Europe's monstrous binary representation of both the physical island space of Australia and the deviant performance of convict masculinity. However the motley crew of convict vampires, ghosts and zombies that navigate across my work, critically refuse this binary notion. Instead their Gothic fragmentation speaks to the productive possibilities located around the monstrous and the marginalised. In this context the question of difference and its relationship to contemporary masculinity is located not around discourses of lack but instead around the affective force of repetition.

Image: Window Shopping: A Phantasmagorical Guide for Talking to Convicts 2013. Mixed media installation, Dimension Variable.

Scrolling Hills | Group Show

Back to Kudos Gallery

Scrolling Hills

Brandon Rahme, Cooper Michael, Laura Taylor, Sean Wadey, Lucy Zaroyko

25-28 March 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 24 March 2015, 5-7pm

"Images are nodes of energy and matter which migrate across different supports, which shape and effect people, landscapes and social systems." - Hito Steyerl.

Scrolling Hills brings together the work of five artists who highlight the way the artificial image has augmented our perception of reality, memory and truth. The title Scrolling Hills refers to the endless online landscape of channels and pools where images are accessed, inhabited, contemplated and remixed. Today as images circulate they deteriorate and become hard to categorise, authenticate and value in any historical or linear way. Through painting, installation, and print mediums Scrolling Hills examines how images are driving us physically and emotionally through virtual, imagined and real life spaces.

Image: Brandon Rahme - Lucy (headshot) Ukraine's Next Top Dorito's Model 2014. Dibond Print, 35cm x 28cm

KB/ KB | Kieran Bryant and Kieran Butler

Back to Kudos Gallery

KB/KB  

Kieran Bryant & Kieran Butler

31 March - 11 April 2015  

Opening Night: Tuesday 31 March, 5-7PM

Kb / Kb presents two artists examining the dialogue available between their individual practices and collaborative process. By situating themselves in a dual environment within a gallery the artists hope to achieve a binary system in which the audience is left to question what connects these two together? Will the collaborative whole be greater than the sum of its parts?

Kieran Bryant (b. 1988) is an emerging Sydney based performance installation artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours [First Class] from UNSW | Art & Design.

Kieran Butler (b. 1992) is an emerging photographic artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours (First Class) from UNSW | Art and Design.

KB/KB Interviewed by Jobe Williams

The KB/KB exhibition at Kudos in April 2015 brought together two friends and artists with distinct and complimentary practices, Kieran Butler and Kieran Bryant. This following as in interview conducted by Jobe Williams after the exhibition with questions that both address the artist as individuals and as a collaborative pair.

Kieran Butler

Jobe Williams [JW] Your work has been described as post-painting. What do you think of this label?

Kieran Butler [KB1] I would say that’s a fair label, I suppose my main comment would be that it’s approaching my work from a different direction to what I initially would. I always approach my work from a photographic point of view, that’s my foundation. I use the label post-photography more than I would post- painting, but then again each of these ‘post’ labels are quite ambiguous in their nature. However, that’s also the nature of my work confused or ambiguous, not quite an image, but also not quite an object, and sort of like a painting, but also a photograph.

JW The presentation of your work seems to be something that is equally important to the images you create. When you develop a piece do you create the image for the way it will be presented or does the image dictate the presentation?

KB1 I work in both ways sometimes. For example the work I created for KB/KB I decided how they would be framed after I created the images, and for a recent show I had at MOP Projects (Are we getting close to something) I had decided the shapes and frames for my work before I had created the images. It’s like I mentioned earlier the ‘objectness’ of the work is equally as important as the image. It’s that in between-ness or confusion of a ‘post-condition’. Its all about the material qualities of the photographic image/object, what they are and what they could be?

Kieran Bryant

JW Your work is predominately performative, what about this medium encourages your creativity?

Kieran Bryant [KB2] The immediacy of performance has always interested me; immediately affecting both the audience and yourself. You can create a moment, ephemeral or lasting, that springs from nothing and can have a lasting effect. That’s pretty exciting! I find it very creatively stimulating to be able to use the body in many different ways; it gives me a sense of total control and responsibility. Nothing is lost in that direct translation of abstract thought to bodily realness. The fluidity of performative work is also fascinating to me, especially when using the body. I see it as a roux with which you can add and subtract ideas, both immaterial and material. Endless possibilities.

JW Your work could be seen as a test of endurance both for yourself and the audience. When you are performing a physical taxing piece what are you thinking or feeling? Also how do you imagine the audience thinks or feels?

KB2 Often I’m not thinking or feeling much beyond that moment, if I’m performing a task that tires my arms I’m thinking/feeling ‘my arms are tired’. I think those simplistic thoughts stem from a very clear rule that I won’t be acting. The performance can’t move beyond that particular action in that particular space in that particular time. I guess I’m trying to not overcomplicate it. From feedback I’ve had in the past often the audience feels quite confronted. I suppose it could be difficult watching someone treat their body detrimentally. I hope that there is an emphatic response also, that they can jointly experience or find a familiarity within the performance.

Joint Questions

JW What drives you both to create art? KB1 For me its an unexplainable urge to make work, it’s pretty much an obsession, I just can’t really explain it *laughs*. It’s also my urge to pull things apart and understand them further, beyond how they appear until I reach a point of something new. I guess it’s a constant search for enlightenment, enlightenment or what I’m not exactly sure. 

KB2 I think mainly it’s a curiosity, a need to explain things or understand. Personal discovery *laughs*.

JW What is the last thing you both discovered that inspired you? KB1 Probably the colour pink and having fun. Last year doing Honours was fairly intense and it seems as a consequence I want my work to be bright, colourful and fun more than anything else, it’s like a lot of artists are afraid of abstraction and colour, I don’t want to be afraid of either of these things and I want my viewers to enjoy them. KB2 I’d say the job I got at the start of the year parking cars. A whole world of automobiles and carparks has opened up to me and I just find it really fascinating.

JW What motivated you to do a collaborative show together? KB1 *jokingly* that we have the same initials! I think we can both comfortably say that each of us has a fairly strong practice for the point of our careers we’re at. We wanted to see where these would take us and what would happen by colliding and positioning or individual practices very close together. KB2 Agreed! Same initials *laughs* We both had a healthy respect and interest of the others work and were curious to see how these two seemingly disparate practices could harmonise together.

JW Where do you see the differences between in your practices? KB1 This is something we’ve both discussed throughout the process of collaborating. Our work is mainly different in the final outcome, our individual works. This includes the aesthetics of both, one being quite colourful and unnatural, the other being slightly more minimal in skin and earthy tones, and the subject matter. We both explore different ideas however we have a similar process that goes into making the work. KB2 The differences are primarily in aesthetics of the work, but not necessarily the presentation, and the subject matter. This may sound like ‘well what are the similarities?’ but the processes we both take to produce work are strikingly similar.

JW Where do you see that your practices have a similarity with one another? KB1 As mentioned previously each of us has a similar process, experimenting and manipulating materials in the studio until we know what the final outcome will be. KB2 The process definitely. The way in which we come to understand materials. We both know the value of experimentation!

JW What do you think is the most important aspect of good artist collaboration? KB1 I would say conversation and process. Even if the end result of a collaboration isn’t what it was thought it might be enough conversation would hopefully produce a strong and interesting collaborative process. Kieran might have a more interesting point of view than me seeing as he’s a little more experienced with collaboration. KB2 Communication! Without clear pathways of communication it can be extremely hard to successfully collaborate. I would also say flexibility and open-mindedness. A major part of collaborative work can be to learn and grow so take all you can from those collaborators.

JW What did you learn about yourself, each other and/or art in the collaborative process? KB1 For me this experience reiterated the importance of process and conversation around your work and others. I also learned how you can, successfully I’d like to say, harmonise two disparate practices from two seemingly very different artists. KB2 This collaborative process reminded me to keep myself open to dialogue about my practice; to never close myself off. I learnt a tonne about my own work by understanding another. Plus, it was such a treat to collaborate with Kieran, throughly engaging and rewarding

Ungrateful Business | Group Show

Read More

Ungrateful Business 

Barbara Wren, Daniel Pervuhin, Amy Claire Mills, Phanos Proestos, George Sandman Popov

14-25 April 2015 Opening Night Tuesday 14 April 2015, 5-7pm

Go with me to a notary, seal me there Your single bond; and, in a merry sport, If you repay me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit Be nominated for an equal pound Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me.

The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare (1.3.17)

Ungrateful Business invites the audience to enter into an awareness provoking dialogue regarding the nature of the 'gift economy' and explore their own perception of giving and receiving. Although the generally accepted definition of a 'gift' is "something voluntarily given by one person to another without payment or compensation", far too often the unspoken reality embedded in the giving of gifts, favours or loans is sacrifice for advantage and the alleged 'gift' is used as a tool to elicit a social, economic or emotional advantage by evoking a response of indebtedness in the recipient. These disguised contracts are usually negotiated in the absence of words and can be obvious, obscured or implied and payment can take any form...time, guilt, control, expectations or obligations.

Ungrateful Business, while shining some light onto the dark side of gifts and their hidden costs and agendas and our own complicity in these less than honest transactions, also explores utopian ideals of giving where no one loses and everyone gains... where being a victim of sacrifice, justified in sacrificing others in the name of giving is seen as attack, not love. Perhaps if we could accept this idea our fear of love would vanish.

Time and Place: Remnants of Home | Gillian Lavery

Back to Kudos Gallery

In Time and Place: Remnants of Home

Gillian Lavery

29 April- 2 May 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 28 April 2015, 5-7pm

A house fire in December 2012, resulting in the loss of the artist's studio and artwork, prompted this body of research. In Time and Place: Remnants of Home navigates the terrain of grief and loss, the questioning of material worth, and the purpose of art practice that arose as a consequence of this experience. Ideas of time, memory and value coalesce through a process-based art practice. The territory of drawing is approached from a background in textiles emphasising materiality and accumulative gestures, mark-making in ink, pencil and thread. The material residue of the fire, including a salvaged spinning wheel, inform the bodies of work within the exhibition, mapping the experience of the fire.

Event Image: Remaining Performative Wall Drawing 2014. Spinning Wheel and pencil, Dimensions Variable

Lurking at the Threshold | Nathan Babet

Back to Kudos Gallery

Lurking at the Threshold

Nathan Babet

12 May - 16 May 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 12 May 2015, 5-7pm

‘The future is but the obsolete in reverse.’ (Nabokov, Lance, 1952) 

The modern world is turning toxic – connected yet oddly disconnected. In this context, the West’s earlier affiliation with nature appears all the more foreign. We yearn for the primal, the pagan, the tangible, the actual; dream of what was before the mechanical, pre- and post-industrial, seeking a past in which individual once had primacy. Has Western society abandoned a utopian vision of the future to return to nature, in the age of information technology and ‘speculative’ futures? 

Lurking at the Threshold explores the premise that the future is evermore overshadowed by its past, to return to an apparent yearning for nature and the material. It interrogates the past as an atemporal present within a fantastical, mythological and fictitious narrative framework. Informed by an engagement with the Gothic, it investigates a ‘European indigeneity’ underpinned by nature. 

Image: Nathan Babet, 'Dreams and Fancies – Wilder Mann at Dawn', 2014, HD video, 16:9, 8’55”, loop (production still).

Imaginary Science | Jack Stahel

Back to Kudos Gallery

Imaginary Science

Jack Stahel

20-30 May 2015

Opening Night Tuesday 19 May 2015, 5-7pm

"There is another definition in which I recognise myself fully, and that is the imagination as a repertory of what is potential, what is hypothetical, of what does not exist and has never existed, and perhaps will never exist but might have existed." - Italo Calvino

Imaginary Science is a creative examination of the human mind and a domain that finds itself between contradictory modes of thought. Communicated through organic and introspective processes of drawing and collecting, it encourages a conception of mind as both a process and a spectrum. Acknowledging the competing hierarchies that make up an individual's mind, allows for an examination that is both pragmatic and contradictory, enlightening and pseudoscientific, foreign yet familiar, and an informative bunch of nonsense.

Event Image: Information Chart VI(a), Ink on paper, 2014, 30x30cm

Marian Tubbs | Conditions of Entry

Back to Kudos Gallery

Conditions of Entry

Marian Tubbs

3-13 June 2015 

Opening Night: Tuesday 9th June 2015, 5-7pm

Marian Tubbs unveils poetic and political power inside an emotional reservoir of discarded images, poor materials, and 'small' talk. Natural and 'fake' imagery is delicately captured in numerous randomised fluid and static visions. Discarding hierarchy for the more universal nature of the spectrum, she glides effortlessly through a poetic and painterly photographic collision of plastic pearls, fake petals, abstract metals, finger-paintings, gymnastic hoops, stickers, free apps and deformed text. Precarious, fragile, and incommensurable elements come forth into being, shared and valued; fertilised by the intimate valour of recognition. Language provides the platform: no, not the dull edited scripts, ceaselessly repeated, but the spontaneous, sometimes vulgar, emotionally fragile ends of the night. A place where sympathy is strength, where the feminine and found defiantly assert: the poor material is the agent because it is set to fail at being 'fine'.

staylor c/o Minerva, Sydney

Image: Untitled (the sea), 2014,found metals, LED monitor, video 2 min 39 sec,acrylic, latex, petals, spray paint.

He's Tru Blue | Hal Timothy Yarran and Nick Sorranto

Back to Kudos Gallery

He's Tru Blue

Hal Timothy Yarran and Nick Santoro

23 June 2015 – 4 July 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 23 June 2015, 5-7pm

He’s Tru Blue is an amalgamation of raw talent from Sydney artists Hal Timothy Yarran and Nick Santoro. With works across varying practices such as printmaking, sculpture, drawing, painting, object and video, the two artists combine to create what Sydney morning herald are calling “the exhibition of the year”. He’s Tru Blue focuses upon themes of homo-social bonding, rights of passage, archetypal masculinity, hegemonic masculinity and suburban identity through a documentation, celebration and critique of the Australian drinking culture, a culture that both artists know all too well.

Image: He’s Tru Blu 2014, found objects, dimensions variable

Interrogation Space | Zachariah Fenn

Back to Kudos Gallery

Interrogation Space

Zachariah Fenn

7-18 July 2015

Opening Night Tuesday 14 July 2015, 5-7pm

Interrogation Space is a front-on inquisition into Kudos Gallery, its' context, structures and exhibition systems. A curatorial project by Zachariah Fenn, in which 'white cube' gallery conventions are questioned through a subtle merging of artist, curator, art handler and exhibition installer. Featuring important works from past students and responsive installation works from current Fine Arts Honours students, the space will be thoroughly examined throughout the exhibitions' duration. Witness an evocative transformation as Kudos Gallery becomes the blank canvas and its' architecture, install equipment and materials become the catalyst for installation and performance works. This exhibition serves as an 'Institutional Critique' and a fitting homage to the beloved student gallery.

Image: Kudos3dModelMarch2015 Interrogation 1 (Wall Divider stack) 2015, Screenshot

Change Agents | Group Show

Back to Kudos Gallery

Change Agents

Selected Final Year A&D Design Students

22 July - 1 August 2015

Opening Night: Tuesday 21 July 2015, 5-7PM

An exhibition of Final year design students engaging in the following studio themes; Health and Well Being, Design for Social Impact, Critical Design and MAD.LAB (Mapping and Design).

Change Agents: Final year design students looking to create positive and critical change to present and future scenarios. Projects responded to the following themes. 

Health and Wellbeing: Developing design interventions and public health campaigns to explain or prevent the crisis, and provide health awareness to ultimately change behavior. 

Design for Social Impact: Creating designs that can be a catalyst for community engagement and positive social change for all stakeholders. 

Critical Design: The focus is on designing objects and telling stories that explore the potential impacts of new technologies and practices on society, our environment, and individual experience. 

MAD.LAB (Mapping and Design): Approaches the urban context through the lens of design processes employing mapping to create urban narratives through experimentation, observation, story telling, journeys, film, audio‐visual recordings and a range of cartographic techniques and explorations.

Image: Danielle Karlikoff, 'This selfie will look better with my new face'.

All Stations To | Group Show

Back to Kudos Gallery

All Stations To

David Capra, Jagath Dheerasekara, Marikit Santiago, Jodie Whalen, Shaza Smit, Zanny Begg. Curated by Claudia Roosen.

11-15 August 2015  

Opening Night Tuesday 11 August 2015, 5-7pm

All Stations To celebrates the diversity of artists’ practices from Sydney’s Western Suburbs. Contrasting artists at differing levels in their careers, All Stations To aims to showcase a small snapshot of the current climate within the arts from ‘The West’.

Often recognised as the genesis of ‘suburbia’ in Australia, ‘The West’ has provided unique inspiration and formative experiences for the artists contributing to this show. The practices of these Western Sydney artists are unique, challenging, and contemplative and suggest that some of the most exciting work that is being made today is outside of traditional urban centres.

With a population of around 2 million people of extremely diverse backgrounds and histories, Western Sydney provides inspiration, opportunity and experiences for locals, resulting in a fresh, relevant, current, cultural hub that has been existing and developing for years. The artists represented in this show are exploring their own cultural, social identities and the identities of others in a suburban environment and creating work that gives unique insight into multiculturalism, Australian identity, the working class and the mundane. These are the experiences of Sydney’s majority. 

Image: Jagath Dheerasekara - In The Outskirts Of The Australian Dream 2012-14 digital image


All Stations To review

by Laura Butler

Western Sydney: it is a place we are all familiar with, whether through our everyday lives, visits to Wet N Wild, or the ubiquitous stories on the nightly news.

We know it. Or so we believe. 

Beyond understandings built through superficial snippets of information, the fact remains that Greater Western Sydney is a hub of multiculturalism, economic growth, and dynamism – making it one of Australia's largest economies and most politically influential cities. Recently, the recognition of this in the art world has been growing, with explorations of the emerging city's creative output gaining prominence. In her first curated show 'All Stations To', Claudia Roosen continues this exciting trend – bringing together six artists at varying stages of their careers to celebrate the diversity of artists' practices from within the region, in the hope “to show aspiring artists at a student level that you don’t have to move to the city to become an artist and that there are great things happening out west.” As Roosen tells me, “when I started Uni, I had no idea that there were all these cool artists and programs and institutions in Western Sydney, I thought that good art only happened in the city and all hope would be lost unless I moved. I hope that any student feeling the same could see ‘All Stations To’… and learn about some of these great artists, and hopefully look them up and discover all the other great things happening out west”.

Jagath Dheerasekara and Zanny Begg are just some of these great things, with their respective works In the Outskirts of the Australian Dream and Doing Time challenging stereotypical assumptions about Western Sydney from within. For example, while the documentary-style portraits of In the Outskirts of the Australian Dream initially recall the ‘poverty porn’ aesthetic (which recently gained prominence through the controversial television program, Struggle Street), the seemingly familiar faces before us are is humanised through a multi-hour-long looped recording of oral history interviews. Importantly, listeners will only over grasp a snippet of these people’s stories, and only begin their journey to understanding their complex lives.

Interestingly, like Doing Time, this form and the process involved in creating Dheerasekara’s photo series resembles more of a community enterprise aimed at empowering those on the “outskirts” of Sydney’s social sphere, and working with issues “in a way that gives it proper respect and looks beyond the stigma and really looks at the problems and the people”, as Roosen explains to me. Effectively then, ‘All Stations To’ provides a platform where the rich experiences and diverse opinions of ostracised voices can be shared. These include opinions concerning social housing in In the Outskirts, and youth criminality and marginalisation in Begg’s engaging, hauntingly beautiful video work, where lingering shots of piercing eyes peer into our thoughts and disrupt possible assumptions. While more ambiguous, this emphasis on community voices is also evident in David Capra’s exploration of place-making through memories of Australia’s Wonderland in Teena at Funpark, and the sentimental, domestic mundanity present in each of our everyday lives, as observed in Jodie Whelan’s Mouse.

 

With these works reflecting on Western Sydney from within, the inclusion of Shaza Smit’s cheekily humorous I Don’t Give a Fog indicate another important characteristic of Western Sydney which defies stereotypical perceptions – that yes, the people of Western Sydney are capable of looking beyond their own backyard. With Smit to thank for the crisply grouted tilework, this white-tiled plinth-form comments on resource use in relation to mining near the Great Barrier Reef. Recalling a bathroom vanity, the form of this interactive installation foregoes its traditional use, with no basin and the shimmering, chromatic tap sporadically gurgling out smoke. This invites us to question our responsibilities regarding domestic resource use, particularly considering the damaging global systems and industries this is perpetuating. Importantly, what Roosen and Smit show here is that identifying as an artist from Western Sydney does not limit artistic practice to exploring ideas perceived as characteristic of the region – that people from Western Sydney have just as complex and global concerns as those living elsewhere. Crawling along Parramatta Road in peak hour traffic or wobbling to the rhythm of the Western Line trains does not – surprise, surprise – condense intellectual curiosity.

To conclude, an assessment of Western Sydney in ‘All Stations To’ is perhaps best brought together through UNSWA&D graduate Marikit Santiago’s moving exploration of multicultural identities, family, and religion in The Weaning Madonna. While speaking directly of her Filipino identity, the emotional resonance of the image can be understood by all, as Santiago pays a beautiful tribute to the importance of family through a Renaissance-esque portrait of a mother nursing her child, illuminated by the near-sacralising shimmer of gold leaf. From the kitsch, mundane fun in Teena at Funpark and Mouse, to the relationships within In the Outskirts of the Australian Dream and Doing Time, plus the shared humanity of I Don’t Give A Fog: these ideas of family, relationships, and lives fully-lived in despite of stereotypes and challenges are revealed as a crucial tie linking Western Sydney together, and to the world beyond.

Thus, ‘All Stations To’ was a success in its disruption of assumptions and celebration of Greater Western Sydney, as well as its avoidance of claiming to represent the region in its entirety. Indicative of the diverse practices and experiences within Western Sydney, the exhibition’s multidisciplinary character and concern for the social was insightfully utilised by Roosen to point curious visitors down a variety of interesting paths, and reveal the true potential of art from Western Sydney.

Tim Olsen Drawing Prize 2015

Back to Kudos Gallery

Tim Olsen Drawing Prize and Exhibition 2015

18 - 29 August 2015  

Opening Night Tuesday 18 August 2015, 5-7pm

With the intention of encouraging excellence and promoting research and practice in drawing the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, now in its fifteenth year, and the accompanying exhibition has been an important event on our school's calendar. The Tim Olsen Drawing Prize has been a collaborative initiative between the Tim Olsen Gallery and former Department of Drawing and Painting, School of Art since 2001. This collaboration has been continuously supported by Tim Olsen Gallery and the new venture - Olsen Irwin. Since 2014 Tim Olsen Drawing Prize has been open to all Postgraduate and Honours students who use and demonstrate drawing as a very significant part of their research practice across the faculty. 

Event Image and 2014 Tim Olsen Prize Winner: Yvonne East, Peonies (installation still), 2014, Charcoal on fabric with video projection, 1500 x 4000 mm


What does it mean to draw? By Kate Stodart

In it’s fifteenth year, the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize offered a rare collection of works by current postgraduate and honours students. The true highlight of the exhibition was it’s remarkable ability to show the broad nature of drawing as a practice. For those who didn’t see the exhibition, imagine soft charcoal studies of material forms next to small, delicate figure drawings next to attention demanding pornographic figures. Now, turn the corner to neon lights, a suspended barrel and blue light torches illuminating hidden features of drawings on paper. You may have then walked away from the exhibition contemplating whether or not each work could be classified as ‘drawing’ and I have a sneaking suspicion that newfound curiousity was no accident.

Amongst the wonderful assortment of drawings was the poetic work of Elise Harmsen, a current MFA student. Pushing the potential of this age-old art of mark making and representation, Elise delves into the temporal and highly emotional nature of fleeting memories. One of her videos showed falling graphite dust being temporarily illuminated in abstract outlines of Elise’s mothers face. The second placed Elise, closed-eyed in the center of the screen as her pointed arm and finger traced the face of Jürgen Kerkovius, a close collaborator and friend who recently passed away. Together, the two works were a poignant reminder of great sorrow, the temporality of memory and the struggle to imagine in detail those we have lost. Unfortunately, in the gallery space these works were not accompanied by such context and explanation. As such the meaning and power of the works was lost. Nonetheless, I was hooked on these videos and shortly after the exhibition I sat down with Elise to talk about her current practice and the origin of these mesmerizing works.

Q. In one word, describe your current practice: 

Contingent 

Q. Where does your inspiration come from?

Usually, I begin in the studio doing something in front of the camera and recording it. This is often in relationship to something I’ve done before or something I’ve seen/experienced. I then watch the footage and try to find points of interest. I then slowly build on this process often stripping things back, building influence from conversations I have with other artists, their work, films, books etc.

Q. Why were you attracted to drawing? 

I think that drawing is a part of all art practice. For the work shown in the Tim Olsen prize I began to draw as a way of reconnecting images from memory and how that translates on screen. The first part of the work came from 2012, where in front of the camera, with eyes closed, I was trying to remember the face of Jürgen Kerkovius by drawing an imaginary line with my index finger. In the second part to this work, Jürgen appears on a separate screen following this line with charcoal, although the drawing remains off-screen and you only see his arm and face following the projected image of me. Following on from this and in response to Jürgen’s untimely passing in 2014, I reinterpreted this process by following a similar action. I found it an interesting process to sense a connection to him in contrast to the digital imagery we had amassed of each other throughout our seven year collaboration.  

Q. Your videos offer a beautiful questioning of what it means to draw and what constitutes drawing in a modern art context. Why did you begin to use projections? How has this new venture changed your practice?

I began to use projection quite early on. At the time Jürgen and I shared an interest in the perspectival construct of the projector and camera and the way this has reinforced a perspectival way of seeing, acting as a visual mechanism for distancing the body from it surroundings. We would often use live feeds to explore the way in which we could communicate across these spatial thresholds, attempting to bring the body back into the experience of viewing the moving image.

Q. Of the other works in the exhibition, which were you most drawn to? Why? 

Eunjoo Jang’s work was particularly mesmerising, I kept on walking around it discovering something new on each rotation. I really enjoyed how the process of making was inherent within the ideas of the work. 

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently playing with images I have found of my Mother’s apartment from real estate websites, using projection, shadow and drawing to reconnect with these very stark representations of a space I have known so well.  

Q. How do you deal with creative blocks?

I try to think about the worst thing I could do in relation to the project, do it, and then feel better that I don’t have to worry about doing the worst thing anymore. 

Q. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Foley Artist

Kate Stodart was a participant of the White Cube Program.

STANBOT |Giselle Stanborough

Back to Kudos Gallery

STANBOT

Giselle Stanborough

2-12 SEPTEMBER 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 8 September 2015, 5-7pm

The works in STANBOT are made around the idea of 'technopoly', and what it means to be a human in a time when the cognitive and evaluative biases of computer technology dominate all spheres of life.

Event Image: Giselle Stanborough, 'Nice2MEch@: Cameo Momento', 2014, laser scanned self portrait in 3D printed plastic.


STANBOT review

by Aston Creus.

Taking over the centre stage (not just a figure of speech, read on) of the Kudos Gallery, Master of Fine Arts graduate Giselle Stanborough’s solo exhibition is a rambunctious mix of screen-based media and sculptural forms. The works in STANBOT are made around the idea of 'technopoly', and what it means to be a human in a time when the cognitive and evaluative biases of computer technology dominate all spheres of life.

As a preface, before STANBOT I had for the most part only encountered Giselle’s video works. A cacophony of sound greets audiences as soon as they begin to open the door, something which furthered my expectation that the show would be predominantly media based. Audio of a man can be heard to the left as he deliberately draws out two words in an uncanny manner: “Shredded. Shrimp.” To the right, a round of applause followed by excited cheers. Somewhere in the dimly lit distance is the distinct sound of wet bodies slapping together. What pleasantly surprised me from here was that STANBOT is in equal parts focused on physical forms as it is screen and projection works, with sculpture and video often working together in unique ways. Take 'Wiccan Wifi' for example, an autonomous cleaning robot hijacked to wander around displaying digital video on a mounted tablet. There is a very real fear that art that is seeded in the realms of the digital and the online loses some of its aura in that transition from virtual to a gallery setting. Giselle deserves credit for mitigating that loss by really giving the virtual a presence. In fact, all the works in STANBOT have a direct connection with their surroundings and sculptural nature. Giselle has gone to meticulous lengths in arranging and balancing the sound and visuals her four channel projection work “The Lonely Tail” (as heard upon entry), which features the artist herself digitally inserted into scenes composed of digital ‘found footage’. These scenes - reminiscent of home videos and strange Youtube videos with negligible views - each explore a different theme, ranging from pimple-popping culture to pornography and fitness instruction tapes. The videos are projected in trapezoidal shapes and no matter where you go you can’t escape the composed sounds, which I feel are a stand-out and a great descriptor of Giselle’s work in general. It’s gross, it’s sexy, and it’s confusing. You watch for a while and you start to see the stuff you didn’t see before, like cumshot silhouettes and agitated pimples undulating.

On the other side of the first partition you encounter a vintage slide projector shuffling its way through documentation of ‘Turing Test’, a performance and installation work by the artist and a foray into the contrasting visceral nature of human and technological interaction. From here you encounter 'Nice2MEch@: Cameo Momento’, a laser scanned self portrait of the artist in white 3D printed plastic. The work sits mounted, its width at about only the length of a single finger. Its counterpart, printed in black, is in its spot directly on the other side of the partition so that the two seem to transgress the temporary gallery wall – two thumbnails on a white expanse.

Off to the corner is another sculptural piece, a personal favourite from the show. A jumble of Apple branded earbuds connected by way of audio splitters cascade out over a plinth in a rather mesmerizing way. Giselle plays with the pervasive nature of companies like Apple and their dominative position in the technopoly frequently, and my only qualm is that the aptly named ‘Ghost of Steve Jobs II’ didn’t take a more prime position within the space. Featuring on the hall’s main stage and the show’s centerpiece is Giselle’s ‘#bloodsugarchecksmagic”, a larger than life video work featuring selfies of the artist and clip-art visuals with the occasional kitschy jingle or sound effect. The video, which was also featured in the John Fries Award at the time, presents the artist as a Mark Zuckerberg-like figure as she narrates using text a tale of politics and privacy in an imagined yet eerily plausible digital age. The work, also quirky and humorous, manages to impart a certain feeling of isolation and loneliness.

At times STANBOT can feel a little frantic, though this is not necessarily meant in a bad way. In doing so it demands a bilateral audience dynamic that is so crucial to engaging with Giselle’s work. The work truly becomes in some ways about you; an introspection into the particularities of your kind-of banal, everyday life with all its oddities. Because of this approach, I feel the sculptural works in the show might sometimes seem ancillary to the attention demanding screen-media. However when you take time to distract yourself from the others’ frenzied cries they truly do stand out as great works that embody Giselle’s well founded take on what it’s like to be a human in the age of the ‘technopoly’.

Dislike Beach Water | Tom Mason

Back to Kudos Gallery

Dislike Beach Water

Tom Mason

17 - 26 September 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 22 September 2015, 5-7pm

Long reef beach in Sydney has the building blocks of infrastructure in clay, sand and grass which, mixed together creates a material similar to concrete. Long reef is a nature reserve therefore raw material shouldn't be moved. What is the potential of the beach when you pick up these materials, mixing them to create permanent and/or functional structures?

This is done in and out of view of beach visitors. Some structures are habitable while others make the beach easier to use in cooking for example while others are sculptural. At Kudos I will be displaying some of the building methods I have been experimenting with and general ways I like to use the beach.

Guest artists: Cooper Michael & James Williams

Long Reef beach is on the land of the Eora nation.

Event Image: Tom Mason, Process image for 'Dislike Beach Water'.

Australia Restless | Adam Gibson

Back to Kudos Gallery

Australia Restless

Adam Gibson

29 September - 10 October 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 29 September 2015, 5-7pm

Hi there ... this is my final exhibition of work developed during my MFA. Paintings, photos, videos, other bits and pieces. Please join us for the opening night, Tuesday, September 29, at 5pm. - Adam



Australia Restless is concerned with Australian language and landscape, distance and displacement. It looks at aspects of Australian life swept aside by picture postcard images of the nation, glib representations that tell a story discordant to the real life and history of the nation. It is an exhibition incorporating sculptural, painting and video works by Adam Gibson in his final MFA show, with the centrepiece being a performance of a spoken word work which takes the audience on a journey through forgotten landscapes, deserted towns and the desolate landscape that lie at the heart of modern Australia. Australia Restless holds within it a sense of yearning, a striving to articulate a terrain that, despite the age of mass communication and ease of contact, remains elusive and, in many senses, restless.

Image: Adam Gibson, 'No Credit', still from video projection.

Kudos Award 2015

Back to Kudos Gallery

Kudos Award 2015

13 - 24 October 2015 Opening Night and Prize Announcement Tuesday 13 October 2015, 5-7pm

Now in its 14th year, the Kudos Award seeks to recognise, nurture and support innovation and excellence across all disciplines at UNSW Art & Design.

This award aims to promote excellence in visual art and design at UNSW, to encourage experimentation and development of process, material and concept, to display UNSW Art and Design to the broader community and to nurture creative activity and community within the Paddington campus of UNSW.

2015 Judges:

Frances Barrett - artist, member of Brown Council, host of Canvas on FBI Radio, Curator of Contemporary Performance at Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Emma Pike - Curator at Kaldor Public Art Projects & founding director of VIDEOKILLS.

Claire McCaughan - Head of Programs at Australian Design Centre (Object Gallery) & founder of Archrival.

The Body Politik | Group Show

Back to Kudos Gallery

The Body Politik

Louella Adey, Naomi Hamer, Bailee Lobb and Alice Tait. Curated by Jackie Terrett and Naomi Hamer.

27 October - 7 November 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 27 October 2015, 5-7pm

The Body Politik invites you to play with the political and to find your voice in the conversation. What happens when your body fails you or stops living up to expectations? When you find yourself not represented at all? The Body Politik is an investigation into the practices of four emerging artists from the UNSW Art and Design Textiles program Louella Adey, Naomi Hamer, Bailee Lobb and Alice Tait. The exhibition explores the global and intimate feminist body; mental illness and disability; infirmity/disruption and the family unit; the national body of Australia's backlash towards the global refugee crisis. We invite you to form a tactile relationship with the exhibition through touch and by participating in soft sculpture workshops ignited by the activist aims of The Body Politik.

Image: Naomi Hamer, 'Now Your Mess is Mine', 2015, installation view. Photography by Lauren Bonner.


Where does your body sit in the politics of today?  

Exhibition Review by Emma-Kate Wilson

Four emerging textile artists from UNSW Art and Design have joined together to put on an exhibition at Kudos Gallery, Paddington to explore notions of the body. Artists Louella Adey, Naomi Hamer (and co-curator), Bailee Lobb and Alice Tait in association with fellow student and curator Jackie Terrett, think about your body in relation to and in the context of each others. All artists use textiles as a starting point, carefully handmade to express their concerns within the contemporary society we inhabit and our place within it. 

As you walk into the exhibition you are given a choice - which way to begin, left or right? Alice Tait's Babies lure you to the right and Mumma Blobbity is close by encouraging you to stroke her voluptuous teats, absorbing you into Tait’s motherly practice. Tait's work is the first example we see of the close tactile relationship all the artists share with their work. Her sculptures comment on the gaze in relation to the female body and the constant fascination that the female body can garner walking down the street. As with Madonna, Tait turns the sculptural body into an idol by putting her up on a plinth.

Around the corner Louella Adey's Sound Bound invites you to move around her foam installation with the white noise peacefully inviting you into a tactile relationship with her work. The beautiful hand painted and hand sewn bruises and decay on the foam reflects the foams sound absorbing quality. The work invites a state of play, like abacus beads, furthering an intimate bonding session with Adey’s imagination. Adey's own sentimental reasonings reflect her mother's loss of voice due to disease and beyond this, the physical body and embodiment of personhood. The foam and tight rope play off each other and the white noise pulls elements together to metaphorically represent sound and the loss of it. Bailee Lobb's Orgasm and Bodies in Flux play off each other, drawing the mind to think firstly about Lobb’s own body; our bodies; then to think about the media's portrayal of the female figure and more and more down the rabbit hole of body dysmorphia, consent and manipulation. With Bodies in Flux we are left thinking ‘when will she stop with the alterations? How big and plump does her body need to look to reach perfection?’ Where Bodies in Flux deals with the external female form, Orgasm probes us to look at the internal female representation. Our own personal state is not left as a question, the title of the work directs us to think about our own orgasm. Lobb has made the orgasm to be something beautiful, feminine, glittery and with little bows attached. On the flip side, consent is considered, how far will people push the boundaries and test the space left open by the artist. How far can you push your body in Lobb’s Orgasm?

Naomi Hamer's Now your mess is my mine confronts and demands you to step within the boundaries and explore the personal space of the individual sculptures. Each piece holds the time a refugee is held away from Australia illegally. Permanently struggling the limitations of a placement in any society. Hamer uses crochet to reflect the interweaving and connection of the material: "If this is broken it all falls apart and I think there is a beautiful truth to that, not dissimilar to our relationship to each other." Hamer places herself and her artwork into a political context. She believes that we need to take a responsibility for the refugee crisis, and her 'Mess' (as affectionately nicknamed by Hamer and Terrett) invites you to sit in their space and contemplate our ethical responsibility to one another globally and locally.

Emma-Kate Wilson was a participant of the White Cube Program.

Press Her | Madeline Beckett

Read More

Press Her

Madeline Beckett

10 - 21 November 2015 

Opening Night Tuesday 10 November 2015, 5-7pm

Press Her looks at the human form in response to pressure - as it is made vulnerable, susceptible and impressionable.

Pressure is an immaterial force we all come into contact with. Its effects are accumulative and wear on the body. Press Her addresses the body under pressure, attempting to visualise this invisible force in its various manifestations, in a search for an affective and therapeutic release.

Press Her operates through a multi-dimensional performance installation involving partial audience participation. An arrangement of performance systems expose the body to pressure - whether this be the physical pressure of reciprocal touch, the pressure of materiality exerted on the moving, strained or immersed body, or the abstract suggestion of slow accumulated pressure. It hints at the conditions exerted and experienced by bodies in everyday life on a visual platform to consider and reimagine the immaterial force of pressure.

Press Her will feature sound artists Joji Malani and Joel van Gastel, with performances by Boni Cairncross, James Batchelor, Ryl Harris, Lucy Westbrook, Veronica Barac and Emma Batchelor. Produced by Joel van Gastel and Paul Beckett.

This project was assisted by a grant from Arts NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Image: Madeline Beckett, 'Untitled - Press Her exhibition development' 2015, Mixed media performance installation, dimensions variable.

FIND YOUR WAY

Kudos

Formerly Arc @ UNSW A&D's off campus gallery, Kudos now offers a diverse program of dynamic satellite projects both on campus, off campus and online. Kudos was established in 1998.

Visit Kudos Gallery

Arc @ UNSW Art & Design

Arc @ UNSW Art & Design: Supporting the next generation of emerging artists & designers. Head back to find out more about the hot goss, opportunities and offerings we have to support your creative practice

Head Back to Arc Art & Design

Kudos Coordinator

Audrey Pfister

P:(02) 9065 0981

E:kudos@arc.unsw.edu.au

H:Mon, Tues, and Weds

A:Arc UNSW Art, Design, Architecture

AD Space

Dylan Goh

P:(02) 9065 0981

E:d.goh@arc.unsw.edu.au

H:Closed until further notice

A:EG01, Ground Floor E Block, Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021, UNSW Art & Design.

Arc at Art & Design

P:(02) 9065 0981

E:artdesign@arc.unsw.edu.au

H:Office open: Mon - Friday, 10am - 5pm.

A:Ground Floor D Block, Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021, UNSW Art & Design