Gallery 9 at Spring 1883, 17–21 Aug 2016

On 17 August Gallery 9 will open the door to room #218 at the historic Windsor Hotel, Melbourne. Presenting painting by MICHELLE HANLIN, JULIAN HOOPER, MATTHEW HOPKINS, BELEM LETT, TONY LLOYD, TONEE MESSIAH, DAVID RALPH, MARK RODDA, LOUISE TUCKWELL, JAKE WALKER and video work by PETER ALWAST and ROBIN HUNGERFORD.

Through its intervention into a hotel’s context, Spring 1883 sees the traditional art fair model replaced with a boutique site for dialogue and interaction between galleries, artists and collectors. Conceived by galleries for galleries, participation in Spring 1883 is through personal invitation, allowing the project to evolve out of shared conceptual engagements.

Spring 1883 is free and open to the public:
18–21 August
Thursday–Saturday, 12pm–6pm
Sunday, 12pm–4pm
111 Spring St, Melbourne

For more information visit the Spring 1883 website

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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.

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

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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