16
Aug
10

Review: ‘How Nature Speaks’ at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 27th July – 21st August, 2010

Artists: Justine Khamara, Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Imants Tillers, Sam Shmith, Janet Laurence, Murray Fredericks and Huang Xu

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This is an excellent group exhibition at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne. Together the works form a satisfying whole; individually there are some visually exciting works. There are two insightful paintings by Imants Tillers, ‘Nature Speaks: BP’ (2009) and ‘Blossoming 21’ (2010), a digitally constructed landscape by Sam Shmith, ‘Untitled (Passenger)’ (2010) that the online image doesn’t really do justice to, a large photographic landscape of a storm over Lake Eyre ‘Salt 304’ (2009, see image below) by Murray Fredericks and two layered transcapes by Janet Laurence (see image below) that just confirm the talent of this artist after the exciting installation of her work at the Melbourne Art Fair (I call them transcapes because they seem to inhabit a layered in-between space existing between dream and reality).

For me the three outstanding works were the large horizontal photograph ‘Hair No.2’ (2009) by Huang Xu, in which hair hangs like a delicate cloud on a dark background and his photograph ‘Flower No. 1’ (2008, see below) in which the white petals of the chrysanthemum, symbol of death or lamentation and grief in some Western and Eastern countries in the world, seemingly turn to marble in the photographic print (you can see this online in the enlarged version of the image below). What a magnificent photograph this is – make sure that you don’t miss it because it is tucked away in the small gallery off the main gallery in the Arc One space. The third outstanding work is the sculpture ‘you are a glorious, desolate prospect’ (2010) by Justine Khamara (see photographs below), a glorious magical mountain, twinkling in the light, all shards of reflectiveness, cool as ice. I would have loved to have seen this work without it’s protective case – in one sense the case works conceptually to trap the speaking of the mountain but in another it blocks access to the language of this work, the reflection of the light of the gallery, the light of the world bouncing off it’s surfaces.

This is not, of course, how nature speaks but how humans speak for nature – through image-ining and seeking to control and order the elemental forces that surround us. This construction of reality has a long tradition in the history of art, the mediation of the world through the hands, eyes and mind of the artist offering to the viewer, for however brief a moment, that sense of awakening to the possibilities of the world in which we all live.

Many thankx to Angela and all at Arc One Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Justine Khamara
‘you are a glorious, desolate prospect’
2010
80 x 186 cm
mirror, perspex, plinth

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Justine Khamara
‘you are a glorious, desolate prospect’ (detail)
2010
80 x 186 cm
mirror, perspex, plinth

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Lyndell Brown and Charles Green
‘Galatea Point’
2005
112 x 112 cm
Digital photograph on duraclear film edition of 5

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Huang Xu
‘Flower No.1’
2008
120 x 120 cm
Type C Photograph

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Janet Laurence
‘Carbon Vein’
2008
235 x 100 cm
Duraclear, oil pigment on acrylic

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Murray Fredericks
‘Salt 304’
2009
244 x 88 cm
Pigment print on cotton rag

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Arc One Gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, 3000
T: (03) 9650 0589

Opening hours:
Tue – Sat 11am – 5pm

Arc One Gallery website

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1 Response to “Review: ‘How Nature Speaks’ at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne”


  1. August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I really love ‘Huang Xu’ Flower No. 1! Stunning! Beautiful!


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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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