Posts Tagged ‘Ghastly grim and ancient raven

11
Aug
10

Review: ‘Night’s Plutonian Shore’ by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond

Exhibition dates: 28th July – 21st August 2010

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Julia deVille
‘Nameless here for evermore’
2010

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Installation view of ‘Night’s Plutonian Shore’ by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond

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Julia deVille
‘Golden Gosling’
2010

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Julia deVille
‘Ghastly grim and ancient raven’
2010

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This is an excellent exhibition by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond. Compared to last year’s ‘shock and paw’ exhibition ‘Cineraria’ reviewed on this blog, this exhibition shows a commendable sense of restraint, a beautiful rise and fall in the work as you walk around the gallery space with the exhibits displayed on different types and heights of stand and a greater thematic development of the conceptual ideas within the work. There are some exquisite pieces.

From the bejewelled ‘Golden Gosling’ (2010), the goose that wears the gold not lays it to the cute stillborn fawn ‘Lenore’ (2010), named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name that discusses “the proper decorum in the wake of the death of a young woman, described as “the queenliest dead that ever died so young”,” (Wikipedia text) there is a delicacy to these sculptures that seemed absent in the last exhibition. The sleeping fawn wears a little golden bridle and is covered in golden hearts, the harness bringing in the element of control (of life, of death, of the body, of identity) into the pieces not seen in the earlier work. This sense of control is reinforced in other pieces in the exhibition including the three pieces ‘Charon’ (2010), ‘Nevermore’ (2010) and ‘Kitten drawn hearse’ (2010, see photographs below).

In ‘Charon’ the kitten has an amazing beaded saddle and stirrups to allow the occupant to control the dead stead because in Greek mythology Charon is the ferryman who carries the souls of the newly deceased across the river Styx. ‘Nevermore’ also features the saddle and bridle whilst the standout piece of the whole exhibition, ‘Kitten drawn hearse’ just wows you with it’s delicacy and showmanship – the plume atop the harnessed kitten’s head faithfully replicating the dressage of a Victorian horse drawn funeral cortege.

In these pieces there is a simplification of the noise of the earlier works and in this simplification a conversant intensification of the layering of the conceptual ideas. Playful and witty the layers can be peeled back to reveal the poetry of  de Sade, the stories of Greek mythology and the amplification of life force that is at the heart of these works.

Good stuff.

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Many thankx to Edwin and Sophie Gannon Gallery for allowing me publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Another well considered response to the exhibition can be found on Karen Thompson’s Melbourne Jeweller blog.

Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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Julia deVille
‘Nevermore’
2010

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Julia deVille
‘Charon’
2010

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Julia deVille
‘Lenore’
2010

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Julia deVille
‘Kitten drawn hearse’
2010

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Sophie Gannon Gallery
2, Albert Street, Richmond, Melbourne
Opening hours: Tues – Saturday 11 – 5pm

Sophie Gannon Gallery website

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Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘The Songs of Eternity’ 1994

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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