Gaffa Gallery Sydney
Group Show curated by Pearl de Waal
1 – 12 September 2016
A group show featuring new works by Daisy De Windt, Jody Hamblin, Luke Nguyen and Tasman Miller.
The artists investigate the geophysics and multitudinous aspects of our environment; just as forces between atoms and molecules act and react, likewise their work are surprisingly interwoven, strongly correlated and connected, yet, utterly disparate and liberate.
Four artists coalesce for the exhibition ‘Dispersion.’ Through seemingly disparate approaches and various media (both digital and analogue), the artists involved consider art as if through a lens, both scattering and sharpening the image of their practice.
Nguyen via photography re-approaches a project titled ‘Human conditions,’ considering key points in his process, asking ‘what if?’ to coerce, fully identify and reassess his creative methodology. This line of questioning resulted in five images, as square format digital C-prints.
Miller, realising images using a photographic negative print process, shot a collection of plants as if they were specimens for documentation, comparable to botanical drawings, utilising a multi-stage process called gum bichromate to encourage a reading of these plants as vestiges of the past, reflecting on the increasing threat to native plants in the Sydney region.
De Windt created a digital collage that also considered the impact of climate change via suggestions of its aftermath. She utilised a projection in combination with a printed digital image, grappling in the space between what is printed and undeniably physical versus what is seen and impalpable. The work also considered the dual nature of light as simultaneously particle and wave, encouraging multiple readings and by extension highlighted the ethereal, ephemeral and multitudinous aspects of our environment and existence.
Hamblin more loosely considered the environment through a system of minimal timber reliefs that, via repetition, meditating on the nature of ‘things’ and ‘thing-power’ in relation to the artist’s hand. Each relief is simple, yet tactile, gaining complexity through its web of relations and questioning value judgements around ‘things,’ art objects and artistic practice. The work retained a fluid character, akin to language itself, whilst being defined also by the limits of its process.
We use the term ‘dispersion’ as a vehicle that tends towards deconstruction; questioning whilst honing and further articulating our practice until reconstruction into a richly diverse, interwoven exhibition. Through reassessment, renegotiation and collaboration we arrive at a point in which our works, refracted, focus and transform into bold statements with subtle correlations and considered interrelationships.
Ultimately we scrutinise our understanding and experience of our immediate environment and the frailty of the positions we occupy – physically, conceptually; we displace ourselves, permeating beyond.
Daisy De Windt
Daisy De Windt was born in Sydney, Australia in 1982. She works predominantly in the mediums of sculpture, painting and photography. Intrigued by scale and volume, she often prefers to create large-scale textural pieces that engage audience both visually and physically.
Aside from a year at art school in a technical college, De Windt has no formal art training or qualifications. Instead, she has formal training in disciplines that are vastly different to the arts – at least, on the surface they are different. However, the arts have been an omnipresent force throughout De Windt’s life: an integrated part of everyday life, not exclusionary to other disciplines of inquiry but commingled in all areas of inquiry.
Influenced by German expressionism, abstract expressionism and the 1960s Pop Art movement, De Windt creates works that question current-day norms and societal expectations in expressional forms. She lives and works in Sydney.
Hamblin was born in London in 1988, and graduated from The Arts University in Bournemouth (UK) in 2010. He has been working from Sydney for three years.
Hamblin has shown in locations in both the UK and Sydney, including the Mall Galleries in London, The Gallery at Redchurch Street in London and Upspace gallery (as part of Sydney Fringe) in Marrickville, Sydney. Hamblin’s work has an ‘almost functional’ quality about it. Motifs and symbols are evoked, yet emptied out at once. The display seems clean, straightforward, but it encourages noise over clarity. Sense jostles with nonsense. Repetition and seriality define the practice, with multiples seeming to enhance a message, imbuing it with a ritualistic quality, suggesting force, whilst simultaneously eroding its legitimacy, exposing a veiled, failed attempt at transcendence – an obsession. What’s left after these subtractions are pieces in a state of flux, transitioning towards something greater than their constituent parts, but falling short; a ‘lesser event,’ an act towards becoming. Close inspection however reveals a meditative sensitivity towards the materials at hand, highlighting a natural elegance, almost as if this were transcendent in itself. In all, Hamblin’s oeuvre establishes a particular persona, an investigative spirit flitting between disciplines in a search for the sublime; curious yet distracted, hungry; on an eager but infinite road towards the unattainable. Hamblin cites a range of influences, from artists such as John Latham, Keith Tyson and Theaster Gates, to House music, Sun Ra, multiverse theory and science fiction.
As an artist, Nguyen primary’s concern has always been primarily focused on the process of making art, including all the details that emerges during this process.
This journey can entail a commencement, not necessarily a conclusion. Hence, the act of creating photographs, including the connection ensured with the immediate subjects, are far more relevant to his art practice. This continuity goes beyond the final pieces shown here in Dispersion where laws of aesthetics are always challenged by Luke’s intentions, thoughts, actions and proceedings.
To him, Dispersion it is the process of “the doing” that is distributed across time, location and social encounters. This includes the disorderly train of thought and decisions artist make for each creation.
Tasman Miller studied photomedia at the Sydney College of Arts, graduating with an Honours degree in Visual Arts. There, he developed a photographic style that was heavily influenced by the natural and urban Australian landscapes.
It is the conflict between these two landscapes that has provided inspiration for past and present work. The urban landscapes are presented as spaces absent of human life, overwhelming in their vast hard surfaces whereas the natural are depicted as ephemeral and fragile objects.
His work often has a handmade aspect to it, using architectural models and lighting installation as a way of contributing to the somewhat surreal narrative. This is an aspect of Tasman’s photography that has become more pronounced as he established his artistic career.
Focusing on alternate processes within photography and using techniques that were unconventional, Tasman has shown extensively within Sydney, having exhibitions in galleries such as Brenda May, Carriageworks and Gaffa Gallery. His works have also be shown overseas and are held within the collections such as, the Gu Yuan Museum of Art Zhuhai, China.
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Photo credit: all photographs shot and edited by Daisy De Windt.