230 Young Street, Fitzroy
1 - 5pm Fri & Sat
Sutton Gallery's converted warehouse has an exciting series of experimental art projects scheduled throughout the year. An alternative to the conventional gallery space, the venue offers new possibilities for artists seeking to extend their exhibiting language and potential.
Invited artists are given space to try out new ideas and approaches that will supplement and stretch their practice. Unrestricted by the formalities of a commercial show, these artists are freed to play with more temporal forms of representation, such as performance, multimedia and site specific installations.
Artists may choose to use the project as an opportunity to broaden their horizons through collaboration with other artists or by taking on the role of curator. The space also provides a platform for artists wishing to reflect on the processes and outcomes of external projects that viewers would not ordinarily have access to, such as residencies and public commissions.
Projects will change over every 4-5 weeks during 2014.
02 August 2014 - 30 August 2014
Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Time Flies, an exhibition of recent work by Helen Johnson. "This exhibition presents a group of paintings peppered with Australian motifs: the thief, the ocean, the island, the saboteur. Seen together the works fall into an open conversation that refuses a straight narrative: the aim is to leave the viewer with questions more than answers."(I)
This collection of paintings continues Johnson's considerations of the relationship between the motif and the mark, creating open, gestural spaces punctuated with figurative elements derived from internet stock images, cartoons, and paintings from the renaissance and romantic periods.
In Going upon the sneak, the figure of a cartoon robber, instantly recognizable by his striped t-shirt and masked face, sneaks across a ragged abstract cube, eyeing the painterly terrain of the canvas. A dichotomy between the figurative and the abstract reveals itself through the folly of the cartoon figure which confuses the ‘sincere' register of the abstract marks. Ex-execs similarly takes its inspiration from a parade of internet stock images of the thief: what begins with the figurative execution of a parade of thieves succumbs to Johnson's intuitive painting process, resulting in a work in which bold abstract brushstrokes are at the fore, a canvas in which the thief becomes the ground, as petty theft grounded the convict colony: a place with a history of being "roamed by rascals and outlaws" as China's Global Times so aptly described Australia recently.(II)
The Island paintings are at once aesthetically agreeable, with their pastel palettes and decorative stylizations, and tightly neurotic, with their complex masking and strictly contained areas of colour and texture. These paintings, in their uptight prettiness, hover on the periphery, not quite allowing themselves to be read as paradises,(III) inhabiting a space between attraction and repulsion that mirrors the island's place in the Australian unconscious: at once a paradise and a place of brutal incarceration. True Gifts and Free Facts continues this thread, a disorienting composition set against an ocean backdrop: in one orientation a portly, happy-go-lucky white male artfully hauls himself aboard while in another he becomes the figure of an infant before a pair of reclining women, their form taken from Raphael's Madonna dell'Impannata (1513-14), though here they look not upon the figure of the blessed infant, but with a discerning gaze toward the horizon.
Helen Johnson has exhibited regularly with Sutton Gallery since 2007. Recent individual exhibitions include: Time Enough for Love, Chapter House Lane, Melbourne, 2013; Meantime, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Air to Surface: Parker Ito and Helen Johnson (with Parker Ito), curated by Liv Barrett, Prism, Los Angeles, 2013; Dead Metaphor, ACME Project Space, London, 2012; Universal Remote, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; and System Preferences, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2011. Johnson has also contributed to a number of significant group exhibitions both locally and internationally, including: Wavy Banners Project, curated by Karen Havskov Jensen and Klavs Weiss, ET4U, Denmark, 2013; Collage: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2013; Negotiating This World: Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2012; Chinatown: the sequel, LTD Los Angeles, 2012; Art & Australia Collection 2003 - 2013, Newcastle Art Gallery, New South Wales, 2012; Stick It! Collage in Australia Art, The Ian Potter Center: National Gallery of Victoria, 2010; The Independence Project, Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, 2007; Present Future, Artissima, Turin, 2007; Octopus 6, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2006; and New06, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2006. Johnson has undertaken international studio residencies in London, Norway and Germany. She was also a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary between 2003 and 2005, and Artspace, Sydney, in 2012.
(I) Helen Johnson, artist statement 2014
(II) "Julie Bishop ‘appalled Chinese people', state-run newspaper says" in The Guardian online, 14/07/14, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/14/julie-bishop-appalled-chinese-people-state-run-newspaper-says
(III) Helen Johnson, artist statement 2014
04 July 2014 - 26 July 2014
We Outnumber You
Sutton Gallery is pleased to present We Outnumber You, a collection of wood carved sculptures imbued with a sense of nostalgia, black humour and craftsmanship.
We Outnumber You exhibits a new series of work by Pola that extends his current practice dealing with Australian suburban vernacular into a more raw and degraded aesthetic, creating pop sculptures that rather than appearing kitsch or glossy, seem dinged, bruised and faded with time.
Pola presents these sculptural objects in the form of a collection of oversized ornaments and mementos. The sculptures mirror the type of toys, bric-a-brac and junk collected by teenagers to decorate their bedrooms and the memorabilia collections typical of adults in a state of nostalgic arrested development. The perverted iconography explored travels from a degraded leaky mickey mouse figurine to a burnt out plastic gorilla, a mutated siamese soft serve ice-cream and death metal incarnation of Jesus. Highlighting the craft of gestural carving into jelutong wood, this choice of material sits at odds against the cheap, artificial and lurid veneers usually associated with the caricatures on display.
Toby Pola completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1993. Recent solo exhibitions include dropout, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; life sux then you die, West Space, Melbourne, 2012; and They hate us, we hate them, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012. Pola has also participated in numerous group shows in spaces around Melbourne including, West Space, Death Be Kind and TCB art Inc. He has received awards from the Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria (1991), the Theodor Urbach Encouragement Award (1992) and the George Hicks Award (1993). Pola is currently making work in Melbourne and exhibiting locally and interstate. His work exists in various private and public collections.
11 June 2014 - 14 June 2014
Sutton Gallery is pleased to support Elizabeth, an exhibition of editioned works with proceeds going directly towards the creation of the Elizabeth Street artist studios in Kensington. The exhibition will feature work by all artists who will be working in the studios, whose practices engage a broad range of conceptual positions and material processes including sculpture, photography, painting, garment production and jewelry.
Adelle Mills, Alex Vivian, Articles of Clothing, Ash Kilmartin, Christo Crocker, Clementine Edwards, Elena Betros, Helen Johnson, James Eisen, Joshua Petherick, Juliet Rowe, Kate Smith, Lucina Lane, Matthew Linde, Nellie Reinhard and Nic Tammens
09 May 2014 - 31 May 2014
Sutton Gallery is pleased to present START, an installation and photo book by Susan Long that explores the archive and the unstable materiality of original artifacts and their stored copy/record.
START sees Long engaging with the archival process of museum and library collections which hold incalculable quantities of historical documents: photographs, books, pamphlets, manuscripts, newspapers, typescripts, letters, diagrams, plans, maps, diaries, drawings, and calculations - all of which for logistical reasons, are recorded and stored on 35mm film.
Through interrogating this process Long reveals that when working with microfilmed archive, two elements of the original and its record integrate and separate at the same time. Even as the original manuscript remains perceptible, qualities of the film itself engage the eye and a second reading of the object emerges. The microfilm record is bound with the identical markers of conventional filmmaking – START, END, reinforcing a parallel filmic interpretation with the promise of narrative.
Artist in attendance on Saturday 10 May.
Susan Long is a Melbourne based artist and film maker and is currently Librarian, Pictures Collection at the State Library of Victoria. She received a Master of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 2000. Selected exhibitions include: Peoples’ Palace, Group Show Joyce McGrath Gallery, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Archive, A photo journal sourced from the archives of the State Library of Victoria, 2013; This One Is For You, Techno Park Studios, Williamstown, 2012; Self Portrait, Joyce McGrath Gallery, State Library of Victoria, 2012; Big Sky, photographic installation, Techno Park Studios, Williamstown, 2009; Pass, Centre Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2005; The Past, West Space, Melbourne, 2002; Flaming Muses, Performance Space, Sydney, 2002.
20 February 2014 - 22 March 2014
Thammasat fuel fabrication
Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Thammasat Fuel Fabrication, an installation by Ry Haskings informed by the artists' interest in unfinished narratives and improvisatory research methodology.
Thammasat Fuel Fabrication sees Haskings create a collaged environment in Sutton's Project Space that layers together handmade elements such as an etching, screen prints, and film stills together with large-scale building fixtures and materials, to create a highly complex yet engaging conceptual installation.
Haskings uses this expanded spatial form to construct a non-linear narrative that involves distinct political events; in this instance, variously referencing Karen Silkwood (a labor union activist who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant in Oklahoma), the 1976 Thammasat University Massacre (an attack on students and protesters in Bangkok demonstrating against a military takeover of Thailand) and the Millionaires Walk at Sorrento in Victoria.Each of these historical moments is drawn from research undertaken by Haskings in a chain-like manner, with one event leading him to the next via subjective or intuitive links and reasoning.
Ry Haskings is currently completing a PhD (Fine Art) at Monash University, Melbourne. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 2000. Selected individual exhibitions include: Burros Ballot, TCB artinc., Melbourne, 2010; Real archive loose warpaint, White Street Project, Melbourne, 2010; Unpacked bucket llama chute, Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria, 2010; and Backtrack (AKA Catchfire), Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009. Recent group exhibitions include: Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; In the Cut, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2013; Sub12, The Substation, Melbourne, 2012; Self-conscious: Contemporary Portraiture, Monash University Museum of Art, 2012; Ménage à Trios, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2012; Whatever works, db project, Sydney, 2010; Far point..., Sydney Non Objective, Sydney, 2010; and Agitation Free, RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, 2009.