Eight Sydney-based artists have taken on the open-ended conceptual prompt of ‘space’ – a word with multiple, unrelated meanings – in ‘SPEIS’, the new exhibition at aMBUSH Gallery in Waterloo.
The audience is invited to decode this wide-ranging concept through the sculptural works on display, questioning if the theme is apparent through its presence or absence? Is space an unlimited expanse in which everything is located or, conversely, an empty area? Only context can guide the interpretation.
The varied methodologies and mediums used by the featured artists has produced sculptures that are diverse in nature, and portrayed in several dimensions.
Felix Feneley’s work ‘Slaughter’ is a continuation of his preoccupation with the physics of destruction, as expressed in metal. If Rembrandt’s ‘Slaughtered Ox’ commented on man’s violent dominion over nature, ‘Slaughter’ mocks human aspirations of mastery over the material world.
Mia Kidis’s work in this exhibition explores the mundane life of a television and how, through ritual, it becomes a ceremonial object. She has created a looped movie that intertwines found esoteric videos with footage she has filmed on a handheld camera.
Jane McKenzie’s ‘Serpentine Series’ is partly inspired by the timber room dividers designed by Alvar Aalto and how she is able to enclose space and create rhythm through manipulating a single slab of clay.
Kayo Shoji sculpts with a range of materials including steel, sandstone, timber and textiles. These materials are combined in dynamic freestanding sculptures to highlight the contrasts in texture, weight and flexibility of material.
Danielle Becknell’s ‘Meine Meckels’ is a work created after experiencing a traumatic episode due to a congenital deformity, Meckels Diverticulum. It’s a sculptural interpretation based on the image of the bowel obstruction captured by the surgeon and is a reflection on the mysteries of the body.
Whimbrel Wilson’s ‘Omphalos’ (meaning ‘navel’) is the name given to the holy stone in Delphi that marks the exact centre of the universe and the point from which life originated. Her work is modelled from the negative space of navels of the Sydney hoi polloi.
Benjamin Jay Shand’s ‘Array 4’ provides comment on the inherent dynamism of form – it’s an exercise in rotated extrusion and optical illusion that seeks to couple the ground plane with the space above, appearing as if caught in the motion of upward propulsion.
Monika Scarrabelotti’s work ‘Alice’ is a physical manifestation of the dream state; her name hints at a world of topsy-turvy. Upside down and compressed by gravity, balanced between wall and plinth, the pose is perhaps representative of her psychological state.
‘SPEIS’ is curated by aMBUSH Gallery in collaboration with Felix Feneley & Danielle Becknell. Presented by aMBUSH Gallery, the opening night event is on Thursday, 14 November from 6-9pm, with complimentary drinks supplied by Capital Brewing Co. and music from Wavyrager.
The exhibition will be on display for the following three days, open daily and free of charge to the public from Friday, 15 November to Sunday 17 November, between 12-4pm
Felix Feneley, Mia Kidis, Jane McKenzie, Kayo Shoji, Danielle Becknell, Whimbrel Wilson, Benjamin Jay Shand, Monika Scarrabelotti