At first take, the interiors depicted in Graham Fletcher’s paintings feature artfully composed mid-century living rooms tastefully decorated with iconic furniture and objets d’art. However, on closer inspection the boldly coloured feature walls and tapered-leg side tables intermingle with Oceanic and African tribal artefacts drawn from the Pacific collections of New Zealand and European museums – a figure stands in a corner, a weapon hangs on a wall. It is a juxtaposition that has been inspired by the tradition of displaying private collections of such objects in domestic settings, a phenomenon the New Zealand-born artist of Samoan and European descent has referred to as ‘Lounge Room Tribalism’. For ‘The Golden Haze’ at Auckland’s Gow Langsford Gallery (5–29 September), Fletcher takes this juxtaposition further with composite images merging interior and exterior scenes, exploring the complex cultural and historical relationships at play. This exhibition follows a recent 20-year survey at the Gus Fisher Gallery at the University of Auckland.
Megalo in miniature
At just under six metres-square and less than 12 months old, Gallery of Small Things, or GOST, is one of the tiniest and newest art spaces in the nation’s capital, showcasing pint-sized works of art in a gallery that was, until recently, a laundry room. On the other hand, Megalo Print Studio and Gallery was established nearly four decades ago and houses studios and workshops as well as an exhibition space. The unlikely duo have partnered for the group show ‘From small things, big things grow’ (until 22 September) in which a dozen artists working in printmaking have been invited to make one large and one small work. The resulting two-in-one exhibition is a unique take on the nature of print, and will include artists S. A. Adair, Elaine Camlin, Ellen Gunner, Michelle Hallinan, Megan Hinton, Nina Juniper, Pia Larsen, Peter McLean, Deborah Metz, Barbara Nell, Jemima Parker and Kate Vassallo.
Impressions of Manila
In this exhibition supported by grant program Art Incubator, Mason Kimber presents a series of wall-based relief works that contain, via literal architectural impressions, distillations of memory. The Perth-born, Sydney-based artist has previously employed traditional fresco techniques to explore the space between interior and exterior worlds. In this new body of work (on show at Sydney’s COMA Gallery from 13 September until 13 October), Kimber takes a deconstructed approach, collecting silicone impressions which have been cast, broken and set into new iterations in which fragments appear to emerge ambiguously from a plastery surface. The motifs were collected variously from Kimber’s studio environment, as well as from a recent trip to Manila where the artist endeavoured to capture tangible elements of slowly decaying buildings. ‘These moulds all contain the residue of a human touch, handcrafted surfaces where the scars of time were clearly seen and felt,’ Kimber says. ‘In a way, these fragments become a monument to the stories that are worth preserving.’
Over the rainbow
In a city whose gallery scene can sometimes prove limiting for emerging artists comes Cool Change Contemporary. Perth’s newest artist-run initiative offers a monthly multi-exhibition program as well as events and an artist studio. Among the first to exhibit in the spaces within the historic Bon Marché Arcade are Perth artist Brent Harrison and Melbourne-based Luisa Hansal. In his exhibition ‘You Can’t See Rainbows Looking Down’, Harrison responds to the corporatisation of sexuality by attempting to ‘faggify’ the City of Fremantle’s recent public artworkRainbowvia the pathos of a melting Golden Gaytime ice cream. Hansal’s show ‘Dead Weight’ features a full-body lycra suit custom-fit to the artist’s body and filled with dough equivalent to the artist’s body weight. An accompanying video documents the first intimate encounter between the artist and her avatar. Both shows run until 22 September.
A cloud of pixels
In Sydney gallery Chauffeur’s cosy corner space, tucked away not far from the flashing lights of Kings Cross and its famous Coke sign, French artist Antoine Aguilar is considering the particles of light and colour that construct our sense of perception. Aguilar, whose work is held in public collections in his homeland including the Centre Pompidou, is presenting a series of pointillist paintings titled ‘Snow’ (from 7 September until 6 October), in which red, green and blue oil pastel flecks representing the ‘white noise’ of RGB screens occupy dimensions replicating those of digital devices such as tablets and wide-screen televisions. Pasted behind these paintings is a wallpaper featuring a galaxy of pixels comprised of the manipulation of paper and light within a photocopy machine. The exhibition, called ‘Time Fold’, harnesses contemporary and traditional attempts to deconstruct the optical experience, folding viewers into a pixelated miniature universe that the artist calls ‘a disordered cloud of pixels with no signal. A picture element, constellations of dots, spots, photon’s ocean.’