Tracing Materiality is a project and exhibition by Sydney based artists Gillian Lavery, Renuka Fernando and Kath Fries. Exploring expanded drawing practices, moving beyond drawing as representation, to focus on materiality and mark making. The artists’ process-based approaches are open-ended, improvisational and unfolding, taking place live within the gallery over the exhibition’s duration to open up the inner workings of process-based drawing practice to the audience.
This project will emphasise the drawing process valued above the end result by engaging meditative but not premeditated forms, transforming the gallery into an active environment where thinking, making and play are accessible to the viewer. Working throughout the gallery space, utilizing the various surfaces of the walls, floors, windows and corners, the artists’ work will develop and evolve resulting in a survey of different mark making approaches of expanded drawing and process-based practices.
As part of MOST (Marrickville Open Studio Trail) the artists invite the public to observe the evolution of some of the works, during the Continuous Drawing afternoons, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March, from 2pm.
We encourage people to visit the gallery throughout the exhibition duration, to see how the works grow and develop in the space. On the final day of Tracing Materiality there will be a Finissage Event discussing expanded drawing practices with Megan Robson
(Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia), and followed by drinks with the artists and a final viewing of the exhibition, Sunday 20th March 2-4pm.
About the artists:
Gillian Lavery’s art practice sits at an intersection between drawing and contemporary textiles. She approaches the territory of drawing with an emphasis on repetitive making processes derived from textile practices and histories. This results in artwork that is minimalist and emphases materiality and the act of making. Her process-based practice is a form of open-ended investigation led by ideas, materials and techniques. Rather than operating as statements or finite resolutions, the artworks created can be seen as material evidence of the process of investigation. She is currently exploring more time-based outcomes in both performance and animation. Gillian has a Masters of Fine Arts (research) from UNSW Art and Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work is held in private collections. Gillian’s recent achievements include the UNSW University Medal, 2012 and Highly commended at the Wangaratta Textile Triennial in 2013. Her MFA was completed with the assistance of an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship.
In Tracing Materiality, Gillian will be working on a performative wall drawing informed by textile practices of stitching and weaving. The works explore the space between a pencil line and a line of thread and the relationship between drawing and textiles in their approach to materiality and mark making. Gillian will be extending her year-long stitching/drawing project in her continuous spiral wall drawing project in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. This is complimented by animations created during her recent overseas residencies in Japan and Iceland. It encourages audience engagement and provides an opportunity to open up conversations about time, effort and value, as the drawing is erased at the end of the exhibition.
Renuka Fernando’s practice incorporates her background in architecture, particularly how one’s body relates to surrounding space, combined with the movement, spontaneity and responsiveness of gestural painting. She has a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNSW, and Honours in Fine Arts from National Art School. Renuka has been an artist in residence at Hill End and Fowlers Gap at Broken Hill NSW. She has exhibited in Sydney, Hill End, Melbourne and Tasmania. Renuka has been a finalist in ‘One Minute Films’ at Slade University London, ’Sketchbook Project’ at Brooklyn Art Museum New York, as well as Waverley Woollahra Art Prize, Hazelhurst Works on Paper Award, Brunswick Works on Paper Award, and she won the 2010 Randwick International Women’s Day Art Prize.
In Tracing Materiality, Renuka will be making large-scale installations considering the drawing as acts of connection to the material world. Actively seeking the threat of the unexpected she makes work larger than her body, allowing accident and happenstance to play a leading role. Using the gallery as a studio space Renuka’s project will extend her previous continuous drawing projects by developing large scale installation drawings during the course of the exhibition, inviting visitors to observe and discuss her continuous drawing project with her.
Kath Fries' practice-led research investigates embodied engagements with materiality in contemporary art practices and how such experiences of touching impermanence can be synonymous with present time immediacy and empathetic interconnections. Kath’s practice involves working with tactile materials to explore complex entanglements of our senses and our sentient surroundings. Her sculptural installations grow from a process of quiet observation and contemplation, incorporating receptive engagements with site, reflecting on the uncontainablity and fragility of life. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, creating works for conventional gallery spaces, as well as temporal site-responsive interventions in heritage buildings, cemeteries, forests, derelict urban spaces, tidal zones, museums and rural sites. Kath is currently a doctoral candidate at Sydney College of the Arts the University of Sydney, and has a Master of Visual Arts (research) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from College of Fine Arts UNSW. She has been awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, an Australian Postgraduate Research Award, an Australia Council ArtStart Grant, NAVA NSW Artists’ Grants and a Japan Foundation New Artist Award. Kath has been an artist-in-residence at Arteles Creative Centre Finland, and in Australia at Fremantle Art Centre WA, Hill End NSW, Bundanon Trust NSW, The Lock-Up Museum Newcastle NSW, and Laughing Waters in Eltham VIC.
In Tracing Materiality, Kath will explore tactile and sensory engagements with materiality, and how embodied processes can conjure attentiveness to present time. Working with beeswax and paper, using scratching translucencies, drips, changing natural light and the beeswax’s aromatic presence, she will respond to pre-existing aspects of the space including the natural light of the windows, old bolts in the ceiling and the lightboxes by the staircase. These installations will combine site sensitivity with the tactility and mutability of beeswax as a drawing material.
Tracing Materiality: 5 March - 20 March 2016
Opening event: Sun 6 March 6-8pm
MOST continuous drawing: Sat 5 & Sun 6 March from 2pm
Finissage & discussion panel: Sun 20 March 2-4pm
Gallery open: Thurs to Sun 11am - 4pm