01
Nov
09

Review: ‘Nocturnalians and Shadow Eaters’ by Vera Möller at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 20th October – 14th November 2009

 

Vera Moller. 'Rabinova' 2009

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Rabinova
2009
Oil on linen
82 x 76cm

 

 

“I am interested in this border between the real and the imagined, the constructed and the natural.”

.
Vera Möller quoted in “Artist earns her stripes” on The Age newspaper website May 28, 2005 [Online] Cited 23/06/2022

 

 

There is a lot of mutability floating around current exhibitions in Melbourne at the moment. At the National Gallery of Victoria we have the deathly, eloquent freeze frame mutability of Ricky Swallow; at Tolarno Galleries we have the genetic hyper-realist mutability of Patricia Piccinini; and at Sophie Gannon Gallery we have the surreal, spatial mutability of Vera Möller.

In this exhibition the real meets the imagined and the constructed encounters the natural in delicate sculptures and beautiful paintings. Coral snake and mutated striped hydras float above Phillip Huntersque backgrounds, looking oh so innocent until one remembers that hydras are predatory animals: the stripes, like the strips of a prisoners uniform not so innocent after all.

These ‘portraits’ (for that is what they strike me as) emerge from the recesses of the subconscious, rising up like some absurd alien fish from the deep. The sculptural forests of mutated specimens waft on the breeze of the ocean current. This detritus of biotechnology, living in the dark and the shadow, emerges into the light and space of the gallery – genetic recombinations in which a strands of genetic material are broken and then joined to another DNA molecule. In Möller’s work this chromosomal crossover has led to offspring (called ‘recombinants’) that dance to a surrealist tune: genetic algorithms that use mutation to maintain genetic diversity from one generation of chromosomes to the next.1

Spatially there is a lightness of touch and a beauty to their representation that brings the work alive within the gallery space. However, Möller’s recombinants are as deadly as they are beautiful. I really liked these creatures narcoleptic shadow dances.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

  1. Definition of mutation (genetic algorithm) in Wikipedia.

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

 

 

Vera Moller. 'Martinette' 2009

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Martinette
2009
Modelling material, acrylic and enamel paint, MDF, perspex cove

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986) 'Veronium' 2007

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Veronium
2007
Oil on canvas
167 x 199cm

 

Vera Moller. 'Shapinette' 2009

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Shapinette
2009
Oil on linen
101 x 101cm

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986) 'Telenium' 2009

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Telenium
2009
Oil on linen
165 x 135cm

 

Vera Moller. 'Rubella' 2008-09

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Rubella
2008-2009

 

Vera Möller. 'Bureniana' 2008

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Bureniana
2008
Modelling material, acrylic and enamel paint, MDF, perspex cover
60 x 61 x 61cm

 

Installation photo of 'Nocturnalians and Shadow Eaters' by Vera Moller at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

Installation photo of 'Nocturnalians and Shadow Eaters' by Vera Moller at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

 

Installation photographs of Nocturnalians and Shadow Eaters by Vera Möller at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
Photos: Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Interested in the boundaries between the real and the imagined, Vera Möller creates paintings and sculptures by placing fictional hybrid plants in existing terrains. Bright colours and patterns, coral-like and succulent-plant forms and toadstool shapes describe her depictions of dreamt-up specimens that evoke the natural world. Möller’s ‘fantasy specimens’ demonstrate the way in which her science background and art practice have steadily converged.

After training as a biologist in Germany, Möller migrated to Australia in 1986. She later completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts and a PhD at Monash University. Her work has been exhibited in the USA, Japan, Finland, France, Germany and the UK, as well as throughout Australia.

Text from the Sophie Gannon Gallery website [Online] Cited 03/05/2019

 

Vera Moller. 'Benthinium' 2008-09

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Benthinium
2008-2009
Oil on linen
140 x 220cm

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986) 'Tokyana' 2009

 

Vera Möller (Australian, b. 1955 Germany arrived Australia 1986)
Tokyana
2009
Oil on linen
137 x 107cm

 

 

Sophie Gannon Gallery
2, Albert Street, Richmond, Melbourne

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm

Sophie Gannon Gallery website

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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, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor 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.

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