Around the galleries – October 2009

October 12, 2009 § 1 Comment

Published: The Age, A2, October 10, 2009.

Around the galleries Dan Rule


WHAT Dani Marti: Time is the Fire in Which We Burn
WHERE Arc One Gallery, 45 Flinders Lane, city, 9650 6710,

Spanish-born artist Dani Marti’s prodigiously scaled “woven paintings” skirt both an engulfing tactility and a refined process. Across a series of five such works, plus two video pieces, Marti employs domestic and industrial materials such as scourers, rope, nylon, leather and rubber, to create a meticulous aesthetic evoking anything from landscape to biology and textiles. But in an odd way, these seemingly abstract works are quite figurative. Marti frames his “paintings” in terms of portraiture, giving these works a surprising personal quality. The title work – a vast wall piece constructed of silver and copper-coloured scourers – is to be read alongside a one-hour video work, which was banned in a recent show at GoMA in Glasgow. The piece features the intensely personal account of an HIV-positive gay man and gives entirely different, almost cellular aspect to the wall work. Among Marti’s tactile clusters, weaves and craft is a swathe of strands, stories and character traits. Tues to Sat 11am–5pm, until October 17.


WHAT Kim Lawler: Between Lines
WHERE Fortyfive Downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, city, 9662 9966,

Landscape photography doesn’t always have to be strictly representative. Taken over a four-year period in the West Australian Kimberly, Kim Lawler’s arcane, highly textural aerial photographs signify a process of re-imagining. Many of the recognisable signifiers are present – flashes of vivid red earth, empty brown plains, abrupt rock formations skirted by lush green – but they are abstracted, cropped, de-contextualised. The strongest works focus on the white Australian interventions; linear configurations of highways, dirt roads and landing strips splice and scar a landscape otherwise left be. Last day today, closes 4pm.


WHAT Kirra Jamison: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast
WHERE Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond, 9421 0857,

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast proves a fitting title for young Melbourne-based artist Kirra Jamison’s charming new show at Sophie Gannon. The pleasures of these stunning gouache, acrylic, vinyl and pen works are in the various levels of detail. While her canvas works possess a bold, almost psychedelic sensibility – Can you see my aura? sees a gaze of raccoons morphing into and out of blocks of striped colour – her scrupulously detailed, pattern-based works on paper reference both folk and fantasy art. From afar, these floral and plant-like arrangements take on a striking, graphic quality, but as you move closer, wonderful details reveal themselves among the meticulous dabs of gouache. Tiny human figures, animals and “hairy bits” emerge from the trees. The more we allow ourselves to slow down and absorb, the more Jamison’s ecosystems of colour and pattern reward. Tues to Sat 11am–5pm, until October 17.


WHAT Cyrus Tang, Jessie Angwin, Ben Millar, Simon Mee, Christine Collins: Innovators 2
WHERE Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, 26 Acland Street, St Kilda, 9209 6794,

The second instalment of Linden’s Innovators series spans anything from video and sound installation to full-room paintings and Swedish princess cakes. While Ben Millar’s musical score for six, single-stringed guitars, Christine Collins’ four-panel, copper wire film still and Jessie Angwin’s cake and video installation detailing the life of Japan’s Princess Masako make for intriguing listening and viewing, it’s Cyrus Tang’s Ruins video works that are the exhibition’s showpiece. Her first three-panel video work sees various crops of a mannequin body gradually dissolving and breaking apart, like aspirin in water. The second video piece, which is projected into a shallow, concrete pool of water reveals the images of model buildings crumbling and falling, the busy sounds street-level field recordings buzzing and pulsing around the space. Tang, an immigrant from Hong Kong, describes the work in terms of the ephemeral nature of memory and problematic nature of attempting to render something so fleeting via permanent materials. Her childhood recollections of Hong Kong distort and decay before our eyes. Tues to Fri 1pm–5pm, Sat to Sun 11am–5pm, until October 25.


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