I had seen the all white relief prints before in a group show of prints at Jenny Port Gallery but I hadn’t thought much of them. I’ve seen a lot of all white art. The prints appeared to be a thoughtless but playful print gesture; the white relief prints of Rorschach test patterns pressed into thick white paper made the content entirely the responsibility of the viewer. When I saw them again at Jenny Port Gallery’s “Summer Salon” along with the mobile “Submarine Psycho Nursery” – I took note of the artist’s name – Simon Perry.
Simon Perry is the creator of “The Public Purse” in the Bourke St. Mall, “Rolled Path” in Brunswick and “Threaded Field” at the <insert corporate logo here> stadium. He is a non-figurative sculptor who has received multiple commissions for public sculptures – a unique position in Melbourne. Perry has no recognizable style or medium to advertise his identity but his art always contains a sense of play.
Perry’s mobile, “Submarine Psycho Nursery” consists of lazar-cut aluminium in the shape of Rorschach’s blogs hanging over a pair of child-sized flippers cast in bronze. The relief prints were made from these aluminium versions of the symmetrical paper folded inkblots that now hung from the arms of the mobile. In this sculpture Perry is riffing on ideas about the unconscious; combination of the Rorschach blogs, references to childhood and undersea exploration. It is a very balanced, amusing and attractive unconscious for a psycho nursery.
There is a lot of variety in rest of the “Summer Salon” exhibition. Amongst the prints, ceramics, photographs and paintings there are post-minimalist sculptures by Lucy Irvine and Carmel Wallace. And following the trend for illustrative work there are Jazmina Cininas wolf girl print series or Sarah Gully’s drawings of hirsute girls and animals – more disturbing images for a psycho nursery.