COMING SOON TO BUSES
Some petri dishes, some downpipe & end-caps, some glass, some maths, some cloth tape, some foam, some glue, some cards, some light and some brackets are all coming soon to buses.
Natalie McQuade's work includes sculpture, sound, installation and performance. She graduated with a Master of Fine Art from RMIT University in 2008 and has exhibited in Melbourne as well as regional Victoria, interstate and overseas.
Recent exhibitions include SoundLAB VII: SoundCELEBRATIONS, New Media Fest’ 2010, Germany; And then there were three, Can Serrat International Artist Centre, Spain; and forged, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne.
Confused Histories is a painting show intended as an archive of the present but set in the future.
Images in the works are sourced from contemporary media. Collected ephemera such as found notes, bubble wrap and junk mail provide a base that documents contemporary attitudes rather than achievements.
The work is intended to act within a Gallery/Museum context as a tiny fraction of constructed history. This history has been deliberately tampered with referencing the mistrust, instability and confusion in contemporary society. The result is a chaotic platform from where the viewer must decipher what is real and what isn’t, what did or did not happen and what is a record of living or what has just been fabricated.
Talking about the present, using out-moded technology of the past such as painting and screenprinting is a process in which I can explore the personal as well as shared anxieties about how our physical and social environments have changed and how they will continue to change in the future.
EVERYTHING WILL BE K.O.
From the early 1900s through to the 1970s, tent boxing was an integral part of the sideshow alley at agricultural shows that toured Australia. These owner-operated enterprises were fundamental to the period’s culture, providing both entertainment and insight into our nation’s racial discourse. According to oral testimony at least half of the fighters that manned the tents were Indigenous Australians, thus these troupes play a significant role in Indigenous history and twentieth century race relations.
In Everything Will be K.O., Griffiths explores the characters that took part in Tent Boxing and how their conflicting memories and contested interpretations mirror the problematic nature of our past.
My artwork, with its imagery taken from dreams and fairy tales, appears cute at first glance, but take a closer look. Those pretty girls may be vulnerable but they are in control of their own destinies.
Is Little Red Riding Hood really as innocent as she seems?
In these cautionary tales, I am questioning whether the really scary stuff is found on the outside of the playroom. My work often draws on subconscious fears, but the serenity seen in these portraits expressions indicate that the subjects have found strength from confronting their nightmares. With these works, there’s beauty here too – I am seeking inspiration from nature with flowers and sakura, the much loved cherry blossom my native Japan.
My work explores entertainment as a form of escapism, and escapism as an industry. Public entertainment narratives chart the line between truth and fiction, fantasy and reality, public and private. They also induce real, and imagined, private fetishes of public figures. My paintings and supporting text constitute mise-en-scènes for entertainment industry narratives played out amid rumour, scandal and innuendo.
I am interested in the idea of rumours being manifestations of an audience’s desire. In generating rumours, the work exploits the fact that an audience’s participation in gossip is rarely dependant on authenticity. Like Schadenfreude, gossip reflects the pleasure people take in other people’s misfortunes, real or imagined.
Chosen narratives alternate between comedy and tragedy; reoccurring themes explore Eros and Thanatos, the desire for sex and the desire for death. The work looks at how these desires are experienced vicariously by audiences and the non-passive ways narratives are consumed.
Like gossip, the entertainment narratives are contrived, improvised and distorted. The painting process can change a story as it goes along. Reflecting the gaze of an imagined audience, the paintings cater to nefarious desire. The work seeks to engage these same audiences, (the viewer), in a complex form of homage.
Object-Appendage pictures a hedonistic overlap between flesh and smouldering plasticity. The points of connect between the organic and the inorganic, fractured and fetishised, present a space in which pleasure and peril are felt simultaneously. For those of us who secretly relish a smack of petroleum at the bowser, or the acrid scent of a freshly bleached floor, there is a quality to the noxious that is both ambiguous and beckoning. Object-Appendage explores the seductive nature of the artificial, and the tenuous couplings which make us question the existence of pleasure without its grim other.
Sarah Berners is a Melbourne based artist whose practice encompasses sculpture, photography and painting. She has exhibited extensively throughout Melbourne’s artist run spaces and commercial galleries including Seventh, Kings A.R.I, Bus, Lindberg, and Anna Pappas Galleries and is currently a sessional lecturer in Sculpture & Spatial Practices at The Victorian College of the Arts.