John Hurrell – 11 November, 2015
This photography show at Bath Street looks at landscape in both a rural wilderness setting and in a suburban ‘city' environs, stretching the imagination through the depiction of swimming pools and street frontages. Here the meaning of imagery or actions gets recontextualised into a landscape format, becoming deurbanised. Drifting back in time to a place less moulded by culture and history.
Jeremy Leatinu’u, Talia Smith, Sam Hartnett, Helen Clegg
Without to Within
Curated by AD Schierning
5 November - 28 November 2015
This photography show at Bath Street looks at landscape in both a rural wilderness setting and in a suburban ‘city’ environs, stretching the imagination through the depiction of swimming pools and street frontages.
Helen Clegg’s images of desolate, rocky, scrubby hillsides in France look like black and white prints from a distance, their colouration is so restrained. Intriguingly subtle, and with her own body hidden within the basalt outcrops or wind-twisted trees, these romantic images of ‘raw’ nature have a feral immediacy as well as a hint of Pictorialism. Her human presence in this wind-swept setting while obvious, is also downplayed, being a component that is discreetly part of nature, not the driving focus.
Talia Smith’s three images examine individual shrubs, or trees, or tree remnants, on street fronts, guarding the edges of properties, or building walls, near the footpath. Very matter-of-factly they emphasise the latent side of botany, the potential of what these plants might be, or once were - and are strangely moving because of that. The images (as a group) speak of nature’s processes and abandoned traces - life cycles and their incalculable impact on others. The shapes and colours become recodified through the presence of the other contributing works, their meanings altered.
Sam Hartnett’s Corner Photograph #1 puts an image of a tree into the gallery space, cheekily planting it (mentally) into the Bath St floor so it straddles the intersecting walls. Hartnett’s other gallery contribution is an elegant triptych of a reconfigured swimming pool. As a ‘landscape’ feature it can be fantasised, transmuted into a kind of pond or small lake, with adjacent small pyramidal fountains that might be imagined as conical fir trees.
The video by Jeremy Leatinu’u, documenting a performance where he is walking quickly (like a tightrope walker) along the narrow painted meridian line of dashes in the middle of busy traffic, suggests the line become the ridged edge of a crater, a tidal watermark, or an old bush track. Like with Sam Hartnett’s photographs, the meaning of imagery or actions gets recontextualised into a landscape format, becoming deurbanised. Drifting back in time to a place less moulded by culture and history.
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