03
Feb
13

Review: ‘Terraria’ by Darron Davies at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 16th January – 9th February 2013

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This is the first “magical” exhibition of photography that I have seen in Melbourne this year. Comprising just seven moderately large Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag images mounted in white frames, this exhibition swept me off my feet. The photographs are beautiful, subtle, nuanced evocations to the fragility and enduring nature of life. The photographs move (shimmer almost) one to another, with slight changes in the colour green balanced with abstract splashes of light and pigment reminiscent of an abstract expressionist painting (I particularly like the splash of red in The Red Shard, 2102, below). These are beautifully seen works, that require 1) a good idea, 2) an aware and enquiring mind, 3) an understanding and receptive eye, and 4) a relationship to the ineffable that allows visions such as these to be breathed into existence. As Minor White would say,

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Three Canons

Be still with yourself
Until the object of your attention
Affirms your presence

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Let the Subject generate its own Composition

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When the image mirrors the man
And the man mirrors the subject
Something might take over

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A sense of day/dreaming is possible when looking at these images. Interior/exterior, size/scale, ego/self are not fixed but fluid, like the condensation that runs down the inside of these environments (much like blood circulates our body). This allows the viewer’s mind to roam at will, to ponder the mysteries of our short, improbable, joyous life. The poetic titles add to this introspective reflection. I came away from viewing these magical, self sustaining vessels with an incredibly happy glow, more aware of my own body and its relationship to the world than before I had entered Darron Davies enveloping, terrarium world.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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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.

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Darron Davies. 'Atmosphere' 2012

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Darron Davies
Atmosphere
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Darron Davies. 'Day’s Reach' 2012

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Darron Davies
Day’s Reach
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Darron Davies. 'Encased' 2012

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Darron Davies
Encased
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Terraria

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I step into your small world
Your secret world
Each a planet of green

Fragile edges holding
the lived
and living

Peering into your glass
your mirror
I see the shards of light
Drawing in
and
Stretching out

You are another
In atmosphere
In moss
In fear

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Terraria is a photographic project exploring the magical, abstract and metaphoric world of terrariums – an increasingly popular form of enclosed and small scale eco-system designed for showcasing plants.

Ultimately, Terraria is also about the fragility of life – terrariums as self contained vessels, enduring, magical – like the human body or our planet – yet somewhat mysterious. These vessels are self sustaining with no watering needed. They are independent and endure quietly. This project would not have been possible without support from Lisa Rothwell from Lu Lu Blooms.”

Artist statement

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Darron Davies. 'Heaven’s Door' 2012

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Darron Davies
Heaven’s Door
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Darron Davies. 'The Second Dream' 2012

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Darron Davies
The Second Dream
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Darron Davies. 'The Light Play' 2012

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Darron Davies
The Light Play
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Darron Davies. 'The Red Shard' 2012

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Darron Davies
The Red Shard
2012
Archival Pigment Print on Photo Rag
80 x 80 cm / edition of 6

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Josef Sudek. 'From the Window of My Atelier' 1940

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Josef Sudek Czechoslovakian, 1896-1976
From the Window of My Atelier
1940
Gelatin silver print

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

Opening hours:
Wed – Sat 11 am – 5 pm

Edmund Pearce Gallery website

Darron Davies website

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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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