06
May
12

Review: ‘Jane Brown / Australian Gothic’ at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 25th April – 12th May 2012

.

As you should know by now, this blog tries to promote the work of less well known artists and subject matter. So instead of concentrating on the wonderful aerial bushfire photographs of the well-known artist John Gollings (showing in the same gallery in different spaces with the work of Michael Norton) I have decided to do a posting on the exhibition Australian Gothic by Jane Brown.

This is a good exhibition of small, darkly hewn, traditionally printed silver gelatin photographs, beautifully hung in the small gallery at Edmund Pearce and lit in the requisite, ambient manner. There are some outstanding photographs in the exhibition. The strongest works are the surrealist tinged, film noir-ish mise-en-scènes, the ones that emphasise the metaphorical darkness of the elements gathered upon the stage. Photographs such as Big TroutThe Female Factory, Adelong, New South Wales and Captain’s Flat Hotel, New South Wales really invoke a feeling of unhomely (or unheimlich), where nature is out of kilter. These images unsettle our idea of Oztraliana, our perceived sense of Self and our place in the world. They disrupt normal transmission; they transmutate the seen environment, transforming appearance, nature and form. Less successful in this quest are the bushfire landscapes. I feel these add little to the narrative thread of the exhibition and could have easily been left out in a judicious cull of the photographs. This would have made the overarching story line stronger still.

One of the best photographs in the exhibition is Lathamstowe (2011, below). This dark, brooding, intense photograph is a beautifully realised visualisation, one that balances scale, tone, light, form and darkness to create a haunting image that stays with you a long time after you have seen it. This one images says it all: the artist has talent. More please!

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

.

.

.

Jane Brown
Big Trout, New South Wales
2010
Museo silver rag print
59 x 46 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Bushfire Landscape I
2011
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 20.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Bushfire Landscape II, Lake Mountain, Victoria
2010
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 19.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
The Female Factory (convict women’s prison), Ross, Tasmania
2009
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
15.8 x 19.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Lathamstowe
2011
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 16.5 cm

.

.

“I find it interesting how monochrome is used to differentiate the living and the dead, the past and the present. It has an ability to transcend the constraints of time, memory and death. I examine this a lot in my work – landscapes seem to have vestiges or traces of past life and memorials become otherworldly.”

.
Jane Brown. Weekend Australian Review, August 2011

.

“The antipodes was seen as a world of reversals, the dark subconscious of Britain. It was for all intents and purposes Gothic par excellence.”

.
Gary Turcotte. “Australian Gothic,” in Marie Mulvey-Roberts (ed.), The Handbook to Gothic Literature. 1998.

.

Comprising photographs taken in rural New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, this exhibition takes its cue from the gothic imaginings of colonial Australia. We see images of a convict past, the bush Christmas, unforgiving landscapes and melancholic hotels. It carries echoes of the cinema of Wake in Fright (1971) and the Cars that Ate Paris (1974)Rendering visible the themes of the melancholic and the uncanny, Australian Gothic manifests itself in rural isolation – where the homely becomes unhomely (or unheimlich) and where nature is out of kilter.

.

.

.

Jane Brown
Adelong, New South Wales
2011
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 20.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Tumbarumba, New South Wales
2012
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 19.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
One Way, Hobart, Tasmania
2009
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
16.5 x 19.5 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Unheimlich, French Island, Victoria
2010
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
19 x 16 cm

.

.

Jane Brown
Captain’s Flat Hotel, New South Wales
2012
Fibre based, silver gelatin print
21.5 x 17.5 cm

.

.

Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street (corner Flinders Lane)
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Opening hours:
Wed – Sat 11 – 5

Edmund Pearce Gallery website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top



Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Études’ 1994

Join 2,237 other followers

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Lastest tweets

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.

May 2012
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Categories


%d bloggers like this: