Archive for March 7th, 2009


Opening 3: Review: ‘Show Court 3’ and ‘Mood Bomb’ by Louise Paramor at Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th March – 28th March 2009

Opening: Thursday 5th March 2009


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3 (II)' 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (II)



Boarding a train at Flinders Street we emerge at South Yarra station to stroll down to River Street for our third opening of the night at Nellie Castan Gallery. We are greeted by the ever gracious Nellie Castan who has just returned from an overseas trip to Europe where she was soaking up the wonders of Rome amongst other places. For the latest exhibition in the gallery Louise Paramor is presenting two bodies of work: Show Court 3 and Mood Bomb (both 2009). Lets look at Show Court 3 first as this work has older origins.

Originally exhibited in 2006 at Nellie Castan under the title Jam Session the sculptures from this exhibition and many more beside (75 in all) were then installed in 2007 on show court 3 at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, hence the title of the installation. In the smaller gallery in 2009 we have six Lambda photographic prints that are records of this installation plus a video of the installation and de-installation of the work.

While interesting as documentary evidence of the installation these photographs are thrice removed from the actual sculptures – the sculptures themselves, the installation of the sculptures on court and then the photographs of the installation of the sculptures. The photographs lose something in this process – the presence or link back to the referentiality of the object itself. There is no tactile suggestiveness here, no fresh visual connections to be made with the materials, no human interaction. The intertextual nature of the objects, the jamming together of found pieces of bright plastic to make seductive anthropomorphic creatures that ‘play’ off of each other has been lost.

What has been reinforced in the photographs is a phenomena that was observed in the actual installation.

“The sculptures created a jarring visual disruption when placed in a location normally associated with play and movement. The stadium seating surrounding the tennis court incited an expectation of entertainment; a number of viewers sat looking at the sculptures, as though waiting for them to spin and jump around. But mostly, the exhibition reversed the usual role of visitors to place where one sits and watches others move; here the objects on the tennis court were static and the spectators moved around.” (2007)1

In the photographs of these objects and in the installation itself what occurs is an inversion of perception, a concept noted by the urbanist Paul Virilio.2 Here the objects perceive us instead of us perceiving the object: they stare back with an oculocentric ‘suggestiveness’ which is advertising’s raison d’être (note the eye sculpture above). In particular this is what the photographs suggest – a high gloss surface, an advertising image that grabs our attention and forces us to look but is no longer a powerful image.

In the main gallery was the most interesting work of the whole night – experiments of abstraction in colour “inspired by the very substance of paint itself.” Made by pouring paint onto glass and then exhibiting the smooth reverse side, these paintings are not so much about the texture of the surface (as is Dale Frank’s work below) but a more ephemeral thing: the dreamscapes of the mind that they promote in the viewer, the imaginative connections that ask the viewer to make. Simpler and perhaps more refined than Frank’s work (because of the smooth surface, the lack of the physicality of the layering technique? because of the pooling of amoebic shapes produced, not the varnish that accumulates and recedes?) paint oozes, bleeds, swirls, drips upwards and blooms with a sensuality of intense love. They are dream states that allow the viewer to create their own narrative with the title of the works offering gentle guides along the way: Girl with Flowers, Lovers, Mood Bomb, Emerald God, Mama, and Animal Dreaming to name just a few. To me they also had connotations of melted plastic, almost as if the sculptures of Show Court 3 had dissolved into the glassy surface of a transparent tennis court.

These are wonderfully evocative paintings. I really enjoyed spending time with them.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Many thankx to Nellie Castan Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


  1. O’Neill, Jane. Louise Paramor: Show Court 3. Melbourne: Nellie Castan Gallery, 2009
  2. Virilio, Paul. The Vision Machine. (trans. Julie Rose). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994, pp. 62-63



Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3 (VI)' 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (VI)


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (detail)


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (detail)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Sky Pilot' (left) and 'Mama' (right) 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Sky Pilot (left) and Mama (right)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Green Eyed Monster' (right) and 'Sky Pilot' (right) 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Green Eyed Monster (right) and Sky Pilot (right)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Pineapple Express' 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Pineapple Express


Louise Paramor. 'A Dog and His Master' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
A Dog and His Master (detail)


Louise Paramor. 'Lovers' 2009


Louise Paramor


Dale Frank. 2005


Dale Frank
2. One conversation gambit you hear these days: ‘Do you rotate?’ An interesting change of tack? No suck luck. ‘Do you rotate?’ simply fishes for information about the extent of your collection. Do you have enough paintings to hang a different one in your dining room every month?


Louise Paramor. 'Mood Bomb' 2009


Louise Paramor
Mood Bomb


Louise Paramor. 'Slippery Slope' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Slippery Slope (detail)


Louise Paramor 'Green Eyed Monster' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Green Eyed Monster (detail)



Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

This gallery closed in December 2013


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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