Group Show: New Strokes, 30 June – 23 July 2016

Gallery 9 is pleased to present New Strokes, an exhibition that brings together nine emerging and early-career artists from across Australia and New Zealand. Presenting painting and ceramics that share a material focus and are purposely open-ended, New Strokes points to a future that’s still in the making.

MICHAEL BENNETT
CATHERINE CLAYTON–SMITH
LOTTIE CONSALVO
TEELAH GEORGE
RYAN HANCOCK
ROHAN HARTLEY MILLS
ETYAN MESSIAH
TIM PRICE
LAURA SKERLJ

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Lottie Consalvo is represented by NKN Gallery, Melbourne

Lynne Eastaway: Out of the Fold, 4–28 May 2016

Lynne Eastaway presents a new series of works on paper that has evolved out of an extended process of painting, folding, tracing and collaging. An interest in the ritual of flag folding led Eastaway to experiment with folding her own canvas paintings into soft sculptures. These sculptural shapes were then mapped out on the floor, traced and converted into paintings on paper. Eastaway collages some of these paintings to form larger pieces, showing the fragile seams between the paper; the outcome resembles both a painting and a flag of patched together fabric, and suggestively returns the work to its original starting point. Eastaway employs an instinctive relationship in the making of an object, allowing for an open and circular material process that arrives at unthought of compositions.

Folding became a way out and a way in to solving the dilemma of ‘where to now?’. It followed my predilection for constructed, deconstructed and restructured compositions. Pushing towards real space and sculptural forms has extended my practice of installing a range of works in conversation with one another.
– Lynne Eastaway

Lynne Eastaway studied at The National Art School before completing her Master of Fine Art (Research) at UNSW. Having first exhibited with Sydney’s historically renowned Gallery A, Eastaway has held solo exhibitions across Australia since 1978. She has recently shown in group exhibitions in America and Europe and at Sydney Non Objective and Factory 49, Sydney. Out of the Fold is her second solo exhibition with Gallery 9. Eastaway is included in private and corporate collections as well as the Curtain University and Wollongong University collections, Artbank and the National Gallery of Victoria.

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Stuart Watters: Flatland, 4–28 May 2016

In this latest group of paintings, Stuart Watters invents a new cast of forms that drift across the canvas like the debris from a vast cataclysm. Architectural structures highlighted with incendiary flashes of red and yellow hover over smoky grey grounds. Dark lines travel across the surfaces of the works like radar tracks, breaking off into biomorphic shapes and strange glyphs. These linear projections create a foreground tension against the agitated underpainting, holding the pictorial drama together. Slyly referencing contemporary warfare, environmental vandalism and the cultural ‘flattening’ wrought by globalisation, Flatland is an imaginative response to the complex and fractured state of the world as Watters sees it. This is his second solo exhibition with Gallery 9.

Stuart Watters holds a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW and currently lectures in painting and drawing at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney. Since the 1980s he has held solo shows with well known Sydney Galleries including Hogarth, Crawford, Kaliman and Boutwell Draper and has been a finalist in major prizes including the Redlands Westpac Contemporary Art Prize, The Fishers’ Ghost, The Salon des Refusés and Dobell Prize. His work is included in the collections of Artbank, the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and the UNSW Art Collection as well as corporate and private collections overseas.

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Jade Pegler: Sad Sack, 1–25 June 2016

Jade Pegler presents her fifth show with Gallery 9, Sad Sack, an exhibition of recent works made of stained fabrics, thread, yarn and fibres. Pegler’s sculptures invite touch and imply a close relationship to the body, like time-worn, hand spun dolls. Strange appendages protrude and loop from their soft shapes, as if reaching for touch or in search of light. Both sinister and endearing, her mute forms are invested with a tactile energy and secretive meaning.

Jade Pegler lives and works in Wollongong, NSW. She initially studied visual art at West Wollongong TAFE and later at the University of Wollongong. She has exhibited regularly since 2004 and won first prize in the 2005 Meroogal Women’s Art Prize. She has been included in numerous exhibitions curated by Peter Fay and has presented a solo exhibition and large scale commission at the Wollongong Art Gallery. Pegler’s works have been collected by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, the University of Wollongong and Wollongong Art Gallery as well as private collectors in Australia, The UK, USA and France.

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Denise Green: After the Saar, 6–30 April 2016

Gallery 9 is pleased to present a solo show by New York based Australian artist Denise Green, her first exhibition at the gallery. Green’s vibrant paintings are characterised by the interaction of colour, gesture and form on a minimal plane. Her distinctive fan-shaped motifs drift across areas of richly pigmented negative space, interspersed with clusters of calligraphic lines. Inviting contemplation for their simplicity and spaciousness, Green has described her paintings as ‘vessels’ that hold ineffable states of emotion.

An interest in translating subjective experience has led to a recent series of collages, presented here alongside her paintings. Green breaks up photographs of specific locations by collaging-in vertical strips of abstract drawing. The objective photograph is both challenged and enhanced by the integration of Green’s ambiguous drawn line. In these works Green presents a phenomenological experience of reality that entwines internal consciousness with the observable view.

Born in Melbourne, Denise Green moved to New York City in 1969 after studying at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris. Further studies under Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell grounded her approach to painting in the modernist tradition. In 1978, she was curated into two groundbreaking exhibitions, Young American Artists (Solomon R Guggenheim Museum) and New Image Painting (Whitney Museum of American Art), which launched her career in America. Green has been the subject of nine museum retrospectives in the past twenty years, including shows at MoMA PS1 in New York (1999), the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2001) and the Museum Kurhaus Kleve in Germany (2006). Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Albertina, Vienna; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the UQ Art Museum, Brisbane; the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 2007 she was awarded the Order of Australia.

FURTHER READING
‘Marking Light and Colour: Denise Green’ by Ingrid Perez
‘Saar (and Subjectivity)’ by Roland Mönig

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Alice Wormald: Offerings, 1–25 June 2016

Gallery 9 is pleased to present Offerings, the first solo exhibition in Sydney by Melbourne based artist Alice Wormald. Wormald’s meticulously constructed paintings develop through a process of image collection and collage, with a focus on natural elements such as plants and geology. In Offerings she creates compositions derived from found images of flower arrangements. Wormald either wholly or partially removes the original floral motifs, isolating their coloured backdrops, which she then reconfigures through the act of painting. The resulting compositions become a series of discrete parts which the eye is prompted to skirt over and fall into. The works oscillate between the quiet contemplation associated with the language of Ikebana, and a more interrupted way of looking, where background and foreground are upended. With their collisions of disassociated imagery, Wormald creates surreal spaces where abstraction and naturalism converge.

Alice Wormald is based in Melbourne and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2011. She has held three solo exhibitions at Daine Singer since 2012. Recent group exhibitions include Synthetica (NETS touring exhibition 2015-2016), Atmosphere at Linden New Art (2015), Vertigo (Asialink touring exhibition 2014) and Spring 1883 (2015 and 2014). She has been a finalist in numerous prizes including the City of Albany Art Prize (2015), the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (2014) and the John Leslie Art Prize (2012 & 2014 – Highly Commended). Her work is included in the Gippsland Art Gallery, Darebin City Council and Joyce Nissan Collections.

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Robin Hungerford: The Animating Force, 1–25 June 2016

Robin Hungerford presents an exhibition of sculpture and painting based upon competing theories of human consciousness, ancient philosophy, a history of monopoly capitalism and the phantasmagoria of early animated film. With comic humour he ruminates upon the ironic nature of the modern epoch in which, despite unprecedented access to information, the individual may be left with an experience of bewildered ambivalence rather than one of acute clarity.

Perhaps the great dark comedy of our times is that, either unintended or by design, there is always a considerable degree of cross-contamination between our desire for a pure aseptic truth and our illogical organic selves. But this thought alone cannot do justice to a situation which becomes one of baroque complexity once we append the numerous layers of corporate and political agenda, the bedazzling adornments of endless spectacle and the exponentially expanding garbage heaps of obsolescence. Given such a situation, in which reason itself may be the captor in our unaddressed Stockholm Syndromes, what use is an artist except to provide a clumsy impression or caricature; our cartoon selves adhering to some ill-defined rules of cartoon physics floating among the malleable fluidity of contemporary mental life.
– Robin Hungerford

Robin Hungerford is a Sydney based artist who works across the fields of video, sculpture and performance. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Western Sydney and Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts. Hungerford is interested in ideas related to an understanding of the human condition; subjects of science, technology and mysticism are explored, subverted and reconfigured in unique and often comic forms in an attempt to highlight the hidden and paradoxical elements of existence. His work has been exhibited in venues across Australia including The Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; The Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide; The Campbelltown Arts Centre and the NextWave Festival. The Animating Force is his third exhibition with Gallery 9.

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David Lawrey and Jaki Middleton: Open Sky, 28 Jul – 20 Aug 2016

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Open Sky is an exhibition of new video work and photographs by David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton, based upon a fictionalised account of John Henry Pepper’s ‘cloud compelling’ experiment, which took place in 1882 at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm racecourse.

Pepper is perhaps best know for his contribution in developing and popularising the theatrical illusion ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ which Lawrey & Middleton have used to great effect in a number of previous works; however he was also a passionate scientist and educator. For this exhibition, the artists have chosen to delve into Pepper’s life in Australia, drawing parallels between the illusion he popularised and his own delusions of grandeur.

As the narration of Open Sky reports the story of Pepper’s arrival in Australia, his tour of ‘the ghost’ across the country and the manifestation of his rainmaking experiment – the visuals slowly alternate between a scene of endless clouds and a drought-stricken landscape. It soon becomes apparent that the scenes are made from hand-fabricated miniature sets, manipulated in various ways to create impressions of depth and scale. Open Sky blurs the boundaries between film, sculpture and installation, revealing the artifice of a reality in which every certainty may well be false.

David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton are Sydney-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2005. The artists have undertaken residencies in Paris, London, Los Angeles and New York, and their work is held in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Wollongong Art Gallery and Macquarie Group.

Open Sky is Lawrey & Middleton’s third exhibition with Gallery 9. In 2015 the artists held their first survey exhibition, Between Worlds at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. Other recent exhibitions include Mind the Gap at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in 2014, Living in the Ruins of the Twentieth Century at UTS Gallery, Sydney; The Hunt at Gallery 9, Sydney (both 2013); Time & Vision at the Bargehouse Gallery, London in 2012; and Otherworldly at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York in 2011, which subsequently toured to MUba – Eugène Leroy,Tourcoing, France in 2012.

Peter Nelson: Things that look like rocks, 28 Jul – 20 Aug 2016

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Peter Nelson’s latest exhibition results from the interplay of two very different creative processes. Working with computer graphics by day as part of his PhD research at the School of Creative Media in Hong Kong, Nelson found the need to digitally ‘switch off’ at night and engage with the task of painting, which he originally trained in.

Things that look like rocks comprises of five works of ink on paper. The compressed landscape orientation of the works and vast areas of negative space reference traditional Chinese scroll painting. Drifting across these sparse surfaces are ambiguous sculptural shapes variously resembling rocks, mountains and clouds. The forms also recall Scholar’s stones – rock formations traditionally appreciated for their awkward symmetries and natural textures. Looking more closely, each painting is softly gridded on a perspectival plane, identical to the grids used in the production of 3D computer renderings. In some works, fragments of skyscrapers, synonymous with the contemporary landscape, are accurately inserted into the grid. These neat constructions contrast with the gnarled, rock-like forms that spill over the gridded lines.

In these paintings Nelson creates a delicate fusion of contemporary and traditional worlds. He points to the rationalised urbanism at odds with organic form. More specifically, he addresses the dominance of the virtual over the directly experienced, and the gap between these two modes of engagement. Nelson describes the looseness, tactility and unpredictability of painting as another way of thinking, and a vital means of extending his creativity in the digital realm:

‘The sensation of painting, and the ways the materials, ink, brush, pen and paper interact with one another, and how this works as a form of thinking, was then a different tactile memory I could remind myself of when I went back to the digital process.’

For Nelson, painting is an essential corrective to his methodical production on the computer. An investigation into classical Chinese art and philosophy is another complimentary countermeasure. As much an exploration of the relationship of the analogue to the digital, Nelson’s practice is a meditation on the rich contradictions of the country and culture in which he has chosen to reside.

Peter Nelson studied painting and drawing at UNSW Art & Design and graduated with Honours, the University Medal for Fine Arts and a Masters by Research. He has been an artist in residence at Red Gate Gallery (Beijing), Cite Internationale Des Arts (Paris), Taipei Artist Village (Taipei), Organhaus (Chongqing) and Serial Space (Sydney). He has held solo exhibitions in Sydney, Taipei, Hong Kong and Chongqing. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the School of Creative Media, Hong Kong, specialising in the interaction between landscape art history and computer games.