Bus Gallery has a great little exhibition by Emma White, “The Artist”. White has created an artist’s studio and the art (literally “the art”) from fimo modelling plastic. There is replica of everything from ‘post-it’ notes, a half-eaten Mars bar, pens, bull-clip, and the rest of desk clutter. It is amazingly detailed with a flat waste-paper basket and photo of crumpled paper. Westspace has done an interview with Emma White that discusses this exhibition.
Also down from Sydney and at Bus is “The Matryoshka Principle”. This group exhibition has been exhibited at Pine Street Gallery in Sydney and is now in Melbourne’s Bus Gallery. Matryoshka, (or Russian nesting dolls) have been made by ten artists. Individually the sets of dolls like the delicate designs of illustrator Victoria Lee or bizarre and historically referenced work of Natasha Sutila were fine but the exhibition as a whole wasn’t as good. I find exhibitions based around a particular medium, like the blank Matryoshka dolls, are generally too varied in techniques to be meaningful.
A more successful group exhibition is at Brunswick Arts, “Dreaming Awake”; the subtitle of the exhibition states its theme “exploring the expansion of consciousness”. In this exhibition the variety of media (painting, photography, jewellery, ceramics and installations) work together in a new age exploration of consciousness. This large exhibition includes the abstract photography of Elaine M Stevenson and the fantastic art of Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule, which reminds me of the decadent artist, Felician Rops.
At Mailbox 141 Sharon Billinge is showing “Post” an exhibition of silverpoint drawings of hands. These beautiful, delicate, fragmentary drawings have the raw wood mount on display along with other fragments of painted designs.
Nat Thomas’s exhibition at Until Never: “Appropriation: How Appropriate is it?” focuses on the Liberos forgery of paintings by Rover Thomas. Nat Thomas has made 6 of her own fake Rover Thomas paintings for the exhibition along with a lot of other small works in a variety of media and two vitrines of documents and newspaper articles. I especially enjoyed Nat Thomas’s assemblages of found rulers and her appropriation of the raw art of unknown ruler decorators.
In Fed Square I saw John Mutsaer’s Potato commemorating the UN International Year of the Potato (yes, this is the International Year of the Potato). Mutsaer’s sculpture is a bit vague mostly due to its proportions; I don’t know why a very large red fork is being used to harvest the rather small potato. The potato itself lacks eyes and so doesn’t look like a potato just an irregular brown lump.