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PAPER WORKS III a curated group exhibition 14 April to 2 May 2015


Paper Works III a curated group exhibition 14 April to 2 May 2015

Paper is such a commonplace and pervasive material. We write on it, read it, drink out of it and eat off it, yet in terms of conservation it is considered one of the most fragile of mediums in the art world. This third installment of our Paper Works series endeavours to illustrate the diversity and versatility of paper, providing a glimpse into the range of creative potential for this medium. Artists include Lee Bethel, Daniel Chant, Glen Clarke, Todd Fuller, Lisa Giles, Nicci Haynes, Bettina Hill, Therese Kenyon, Melinda Le Guay, Jo Meisner, Louise Morgan, Nicola Moss, Helen Mueller, Al Munro, Mylyn Nguyen, Janet Parker-Smith, Pamela See, Liz Shreeve, Lezlie Tilley, Elizabeth Willing.


Lee Bethel, ‘Ruff’ 2015, hand-cut and rolled paper on wire, 45 x 50 x 40cm


Lee Bethel Artist Statement My arts practise takes a critical view of the relationship between object, place and memory. In this process I deconstruct and reconstruct objects that are part of our sense of self and culture. In this piece ‘Ruff’ I have looked at the stylized ruff collars popular in Elizabethan times and their contemporary fashion counterparts seen in designers such as Gaultier and Westwood. Ruff is intended to make the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable and anxious but intrigued by the material process of paper manipulation. The mediative process of cutting, rolling and quilling as well as the ordering and layering of the paper into the wire focuses on the notions of constraint.


Daniel Chant, ‘Untitled 23’ 2014, screenprint on BFK paper, 152 x 112cm


Daniel Chant Artist Statement There are no facts, only multiple interpretations. Grids and screens form a visual barrier blocking and concealing what lies behind, preventing disclosure of information whilst simultaneously offering partial glimpses. They initiate a play of revealing and concealing, where each successive layer negates the previous one and at the same time calls attention to it. The work I have produced recently explores the continuous oscillation between chaos and order. It is about desire for meaning framed by doubts, and asks, how can one find meaning in a world where the virtual is replacing the ‘real’? Where surfaces are more important then depth? It is not about absence of meaning as such, but about its uncontrollable proliferation.


Glen Clarke, ‘The Poetics of Emptiness - Yin Yang’ 2015, US dollars and Iraqi dinar, cotton thread - diptych, 116 x 136 x 23cm


Glen Clarke Artist Statement Positive-negative, front-back, oriental-occidental, inside-outside, black-white, left-right, up-down, big-small, east-west, good-evil, full-empty, over-under, day-night, explode-implode, top-bottom, rich-poor, literateilliterate, birth-death, on-off, win-lose, us-them, truth-lie, yes-no, yin-yang. Born of the dichotomy of the anti-materialistic Buddhist Sculptor, this work continues the conversation on how can one justify filling the world with more useless objects? Buddhist teachings show us that ‘emptiness is form – form is emptiness’ a most common and understood pathway to enlightenment. In Animist civilizations all creatures and more specifically all inanimate objects possess a soul. Animism Noun; the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls. the belief that natural objects have souls that may exist apart from their material bodies. the doctrine that the soul is the principle of life and health. belief in spiritual beings or agencies. ‘The Poetics of Emptiness - Yin Yang’ is part of an ongoing series of works resulting from continuing experiences working with UXO’s and Project Renew, mine risk awareness, Quang Binh. Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, bordering Laos PDR and Vietnam, children collect scrap metal, mostly UneXploded Ordinances and can earn $0.16 cents US per kilo, sometimes it blows up. Sometimes their fathers or older brothers dismantle these bombs, extract and sell the TNT for much much more. Sometimes it blows up too. If you remove the explosives from a 1000lb bomb, is it still a bomb. If you remove the soul from an object is it still the same object? If an artwork is without content or meaning is it really art. If an artwork fails to ask questions or jolt your thinking, is it still art or is it just mere décor, and just another useless object in the world.


Todd Fuller, ‘Untitled (Little Star 6)’ 2014, charcoal, chalk, acrylic, ink and collage on paper, 57.5 x 66cm


Todd Fuller Artist Statement By night one way, by day another, the spinning ball of blue and the others of light. One falls from the sky. The dream. To catch that ball, to be that star. Zvezdochka, or Little Star, was the 11th dog to be sent into space by the Russians. Like the others in the program, she endured extreme conditions as a scientific experiment into the effects of orbital travel on a living creature. Fuller’s film addresses themes of loss, love, friendship, desire, ambition, and yearning while his Australianised Little Star invites you into the imaginings of a dog who dreams of space.


Lisa Giles, ‘Sagrado #4’ 2014, litho paper, origami folded in perspex box, 63 x 63 x 9cm


Lisa Giles Artist Statement The Sagrado Series seeks to explore the power of light and shadows to transform works from simple white pieces to quiet, contemplative sculptures that have many and varied abstract patterns. The work draws on the complexities of sacred geometry such as that seen in architectural works like the Sagrada Familia.


Nicci Haynes, ‘silents’ 2014 video - 1:36min on an iPad, edition of 5, 34 x 29 x 5cm


Nicci Haynes Artist Statement Communication difficulty is the theme of the video silents. It is made from photocopied pages of my face, each page being a video frame, and depicts my own attempts to communicate. The glass platen pressed against my talking mouth echoes the barriers to verbal communication that I experience. The out-dated technology emphasizes the awkwardness in translating the barely-formed thoughts and tangled emotions of my inner world into words. Throughout my practice text, body language, speaking, gesture are all chaotically explored through performance, video, projection, print and drawing. Strings, threads and wires recur in my work and allude to the interconnectedness of words, tangled meanings and our messy attempts to communicate.


Bettina Hill, ‘The Shape of Paper, arcs and lines’ 2011 paper, timber, rubber, screws, bolts, 270 x 80 x 30cm Photographer: Andrew Sikorski


Bettina Hill Artist Statement ‘The Shape of Paper, Lines and Arcs’ highlights the dualities of order and chaos, hand made and geometrical precision, flatness and molded relief. Paper is a wonderful material to illustrate duality as inherently it possesses a range of possibilities – it is a weak material tearing easily, it can disintegrate when wet or exposed to the sun, it can also become strong and pliable when tightly woven. In this work the paper’s journey traverses the straight, flat and flimsy, the highly structured, spherical and geometric, finally falling carelessly to a tangled curly mess. ‘The Shape of Paper, Lines and Arcs’ is a hand made geometric experiment, exploring the half sphere and the beautiful and diverse physical properties of paper. It attempts to demystify the exactness of computerised or machined geometric forms that require specialised tools and knowledge, by making a comparable form with a simple process and an accessible material.


Therese Kenyon, ‘Runoff’ 2014, gouache on paper, 312 x 91.5cm


Therese Kenyon Artist Statement These works on paper continue my long standing preoccupation with water culminating with my last exhibition The Water Rushed In… at the Annex, Brenda May Gallery, a study of precariousness with a sense of ‘being at war with water’. Following the exhibition I continued to make long falls of ink and gouache on paper emulating the movement of water as it falls and splashes over hard man-made surfaces, in a series called ‘Runoff’.


Melinda Le Guay, ‘Warp 6’ 2006/2014, hand-stitched paper, cotton thread, 32 x 56 2.5cm


Melinda Le Guay Artist Biography Melinda Le Guay’s oeuvre is varied in materials and themes, however her laborious attention to detail, repetitious techniques and delicate sensibility always remain salient. She received a Ceramics Certificate in 1970 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2002 from the National Art School in Sydney. Le Guay has been collected by Artbank, the Crafts Council of Australia in Sydney and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as well as many corporate, public and private collections in Australia, America, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. 2014 saw Le Guay’s work return to a use of natural and found materials, organising and processing matter that she had gathered, sorted and preserved over time. This body of work acknowledged that the inherent qualities of certain objects and specimens pose interesting challenges that sometimes result in unplanned outcomes. More recently Le Guay has began extending the ideas developed and techniques utilised in this previous body of work, whilst also revisiting the discipline of painting, relatively unexplored within her practice for a number of years. Previously, Le Guay has visually demonstrated labour, time and the erroneous hand of the artist. Her 2005 body of work ‘Marking Time’ was composed of impeccably uniform hand drawn lines frequently broken, with each break representing a moment where Le Guay’s concentration was interrupted. More recently, Le Guay’s near-perfect tessellation of shapes produced with a hand carved stamp has allowed elements of human inaccuracy to accentuate the repetitive processes she chooses to undergo. Alongside Le Guay’s artistic education, she completed a Horticulture Certificate at Sydney’s Ryde School of Horticulture in 1987, which has resulted in her practice often incorporating fragments from the natural world.


Jo Meisner, ‘The Spectator and the Spectacle #2’ 2015, digital print on Hahnemuhle paper, 42 x 29.5cm


Jo Meisner Artist Statement Jo Meisner is an emerging artist based in Sydney. In her interdisciplinary practice she investigates aspects of the individual in contemporary society with emphasis on the alienation of the individual. For Meisner process is an important extension of drawing and painting, as well as printing and photography. By using colour separation and layering it simultaneously heightens the distinction between the digital and the hand crafted. An illusion of space is created within the reflective quality of the work as it extends and resonates back to the viewer. Through investigation and process the work has a recurring motif which emphasizes the rear view of faceless individuals. A cinematic use of saturated hues and subverted coloration has emerged from the creative process. The use of transparency of the surface and the luminous and varying scale of the work has allowed the viewer to view a spectacle. Observing people from behind allows the viewer to use their stories to relate to the visual concept. Time seems to unhinge and suggests several different temporalities simultaneously: the actuality of the photograph as a modern technique of representation joins with the past tense of the pose, the references to traditional painting answered by the time disjunction of something breaking and whose meaning suddenly is disrupted, determined by the shutter release. Meisner revisits the age-old response of artists to the dilemmas of humanity, which gives her a new perspective on contemporary society’s preoccupation with material objects at the expense of the individual.


Louise Morgan, ‘Symptoms’ (Lizard, Frog, Bird, Glider), 2014, paper - 60 pieces, dimensions variable


Louise Morgan Artist Statement Symptoms is a response to global environmental impacts with consequence the key issue at hand. Among humankind’s more profound accomplishments is our contribution to rapid biodiversity loss and mass extinction. The ultimate consequence of environmental degradation for any life form is extinction. As an installation of countless paper skeletons, Symptoms intends to register the invisible losses of the sixth mass extinction event currently underway. The ephemeral qualities of paper lent it to be the deliberate medium of choice for the work, as it is a material that we take for granted, regard with little value and throw away or destroy with ease - an attitude that is aligned with our treatment of much of the natural world.


Nicola Moss, ‘Curated Ecology - Nature Strip’ 2015, synthetic polymer paint on handcut paper, 141cm diameter


Nicola Moss Artist Statement My art practice observes and interprets the ecology of landscapes. I am interested in the role people play in shaping environment - through influences of culture, conservation and development. Research develops through numerous site visits and engagement with community groups. These direct experiences engage all of my senses, providing visceral references along with the personal, social and heritage stories of connected history and ecology. Curated ecology – Nature Strip reflects on the habitat of many city and town suburban environments. A place where, town planning, heritage and personal aesthetic; mixes with maintenance regimes and safety concerns. This confluence of values interests me in the effect it has on our relationship with environment. This work developed in response to a residency at Grafton in 2014, featuring several of the streets flora and fauna. Exploring the nature strips revealed practical attributes of shade, along with interesting reflections on identity and biodiversity. A sense of re-evaluating the value of these habitats is echoed in recent thoughts from David Attenborough - “Where in 1945 it was thought that the way to solve the problem was to create wildlife parks and nature reserves, that is no longer an option. They are not enough now. The whole countryside should be available for wildlife. The suburban garden, roadside verges ... all must be used”.1 1. John Vidal, The Guardian, 3rd September, 2014, Reserves and parks not enough to protect nature – David Attenborough.

Species featured include – Eucalypt (gumnuts), Fire Wheel tree (flower), Flame tree (Leaf and flower), Cook Pine (branches), Poinciana (leaves), Cape Chestnut (flower), dandelion (leaf), skink.


Helen Mueller, ‘earthen wear’ 2015, cast Hsien paper, intaglio printed from seawater etched plates - 80 pieces, 148.5 x 127 x 6cm variable


Helen Mueller Artist Statement These bowls are made with paper printed from metal plates ‘etched’ in seawater. The more the plates are printed, the more the ‘etched’ surface wears down. The process of printing over and over results in lighter and lighter tones. The texture of the prints reminded me of satellite photographs of the earth’s surface. I saw a parallel between the wearing down of the plates in their use to make prints, and the wearing down of our earth in our use of it to sustain an ever demanding human habitation. The final form of the prints as fragile cast bowls express the play on words of this work’s title. Thank you to Joseph Purtle, ceramicist, for making the molds in their sensitive form.


Al Munro, ‘Conjecture 1-6’ 2015, acrylic paint and glitter on cardboard - 6 pieces, dimensions variable


Al Munro Artist Statement This series of works stems from my ongoing interest in diagrams, measurement, and the processes of editing and averaging the irregular and specific features of individual specimens that are a part of creating scientific inscriptions of the natural world. These works are models of unknown mathematical formulae or algorithms. They are models drawn from imaginary systems for measuring the fleeting and the inconsistent – sparkle, shimmer, sheen – those qualities that are eschewed in the clinical black and white of many scientific diagrams.


Mylyn Nguyen, ‘I’m not afraid of spiders’ 2015, watercolour and ink on paper, flocking, resin, spoon + glass dome, 26 x 17 x 17cm


Mylyn Nguyen Artist Biography Mylyn Nguyen’s work explores her fertile imagination, harking back to childhood curiosities. She received a Master of Visual Arts in 2006 at Sydney College of the Arts, where she spent her time in the glass studio making works combining blown glass with various unlikely materials. In 2006, her sculpture shown in an exhibition titled ‘Utility’ at the Sydney College of the Arts Gallery received an award, marking the pivotal point in the development and direction of her work. Notably since then, Mylyn has exhibited internationally twice with Brenda May Gallery at Art Stage, Singapore, taking a solo installation titled ‘Bombus’ composed of 1,000 handcrafted bees in 2014. Nguyen has created many comprehensive bodies of work, as well as smaller projects, varying in appearance, approach and materials. ‘Bombus’ followed on from Nguyen’s ‘Daddy Long Legs’ series of work, featuring life-like, spindly-legged spiders made out of paper, captured in an assortment of found glass vessels. Previously Nguyen has manipulated hair to form birds around glass orbs containing silhouetted scenes and whittled tiny worlds into household furniture. She has also carved sugar cubes and molded fairy floss to form miniature scenes and cloud-like snails, respectively. In 2014, Nguyen created a series of polymer clay schoolgirls with long dark hair that morphed into various animals; eerie human-faced birds also shaped from hair, nestled in dried organic matter; and 115 intricate paper bugs carting peculiar burdens that crawled up the walls of Brenda May Gallery. With this body of work, Nguyen’s incredible skill and wondrous imagination mushroomed, extending the sense of spectacle and intrigue her artworks continuously generate.


Janet Parker-Smith, ‘The Talents of the Closet Queen no.2’ 2015, deconstructed book, 24 x 20 x 10cm


Janet Parker-Smith Artist Statement Using the process of deconstructing and folding books written by women on women this work explores, by mapping and layering issues of concealment and displacement as well as memory, culture, environment, traditions and existence. These works probe the underside of the sacred female, trading indirectly with phantoms, through acts of displacement in which the personas of the individual are emerging from the pages of old books. The placement of the figures and the folding of the book pages prevents what is underneath from being seen thus allowing some things never to be visible. The layering and space within the work represents secret space. The prevention of knowing what is underneath holds the interest.


Pamela See, ‘Precipitation’ 2014, papercut animation, edition of 3


Pamela See Artist Statement Precipitation references a metrological event that occurred in Lajamanu 550km southwest of Katherine in the Northern Territory in 2010. A school of perch rained down on the town of 669 residents. The artwork depicts the fish being elevated from the ocean by a waterspout and then being dropped hundreds of kilometres inland. It is part of a series of papercut animations that explore how weather has influenced the global distribution of species. Other examples of fauna being affected by this phenomena include: (a) the rafting of iguana to the Gallipolis Islands from the Amazon on storm debris, and (b) a multitude of heron sub-species that have resulted from migrating flocks blown-off course.


Liz Shreeve, ‘Whorl 3’ 2012 torn and curled paper on constructed paper form, 39cm diameter

Liz Shreeve, ‘Swirl 5’ 2012 torn and curled paper on constructed paper form, 63cm diameter


Liz Shreeve (courtesy of Stella Downer Fine Art) Artist Statement I see no great divide between science and the arts. I incorporated art into my previous career as a science educator and science informs my art practice. My work is driven by observation and obsessed with light and colour. It is about slowing the eye and seeing beauty in simple forms. I consider ambient light, varying through the day and night to be my major raw material. I work in low relief using identical paper units, arranged in predetermined sequence, to catch and colour natural or artificial light. When working in three dimensions as in Whorl and Swirl, these simple sequences of number and direction generate objects reminiscent of organic forms. Like mutations in DNA, small changes in sequence lead to differences in structure. The connection between numbers, structure and beauty is endlessly fascinating.


Lezlie Tilley, ‘10,609 tiny stones arranged according to the laws of chance - cobalt’ 2014, mixed media on paper, 53 x 53cm


Lezlie Tilley Artist Biography (b. 1949. Sydney, NSW, Australia) Lezlie Tilley has studied at the National Art School (formerly East Sydney Technical College) in Sydney and Newcastle School of Art & Design, where she completed a BA in visual arts in 1983. Since then Tilley has exhibited in a multitude of group exhibitions and numerous solo exhibitions, the majority of which have been with Brenda May Gallery (formerly Access Contemporary Art Gallery). Tilley has also had solo shows at Nick Mitzevich Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, the University of Newcastle and PODspace Gallery in Newcastle


Elizabeth Willing, ‘16 singles’ 2014, sliced processed cheese on paper, 150 x 150cm


Elizabeth Willing Artist Statement ‘16 Singles’ is a piece in a larger body of explorations into the potential of processed cheese as a sculptural material. 16 slices of processed cheese are pressed onto a large piece of white paper in a simple grid formation. Over the period of a week the cheese dries and shrinks and in response the paper crumples and warps, furthermore the cheese fat is leeched into the surrounding paper. The work delivers a slow performance turning a 2D piece of paper into a 3D sculpture with unpredictable and possibly repulsive results.


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Paper Works III  

Paper is such a commonplace and pervasive material. We write on it, read it, drink out of it and eat off it, yet in terms of conservation it...

Paper Works III  

Paper is such a commonplace and pervasive material. We write on it, read it, drink out of it and eat off it, yet in terms of conservation it...

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