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Fun to Funky @ Brunswick Arts

Brunswick Arts – Launch ’12 – Exhibition Opening

The exhibition is the best of all the arts graduate shows from the end of last year. I didn’t get to all of the arts graduate shows last year but Carmen Reid and Max Piantoni did and Launch ’12 at Brunswick Arts is their selection. (I can’t believe that I didn’t speak to Carmen Reid, I’ve enjoyed her art for years and I still haven’t met her – see Carmen Reid at Brunswick Arts. I ended up talking to Max Piantoni because he was talking with Alister Karl instead. It must have been the spectacle of the exhibition disorientating me.)

I arrived at Brunswick Arts just as the toffee was about to touch the floor from Skye Kelly’s “Suspended Cubes”. The beautiful tendril of toffee stretched at a speed slightly slower than human vision but every time that I looked back it had changed. Four giant blocks of black toffee were suspended from the ceiling with cotton cords. One of the black cubes had lost its rigid geometry; it was melting faster than the others and was slowly dripping to the floor. The shiny texture of the toffee with a golden crust on top produced a beautiful two tones. Kelly must have timed the toffee melting for this moment. The suspended cubes of toffee make great sculptural forms and I hope to see more toffee sculpture from Skye Kelly. I saw Kelly’s “Creep”, 2011 with more of her toffee work last year at First Site.

It was an impressive beginning to an exhibition that ranged from fun to funky. There are very funky gibbons of Jemila MacEwan, made from recycled clothing, and the equally funky “Phantom Limb” by Emily Bour. The art is fun; none of the artists seemed to be taking it too seriously. It is also fun for the visitors, interacting with Isabelle Rudolph’s “Double Vanity”. This play tent/circus tent allows two visitors to interact in private, wearing masks, sitting back to back and taking photographs on a camera Rudoph provided.

Renuka Rajiv’s drawings and zine are very sexy. There is a Matisse influence to her work on paper especially the blue nude. Good erotic art is so rare. C asks me is there a parental advisory warning about these? Not at Brunswick Arts and anyway the half dozen children who are at the opening aren’t interested in Rajiv’s sexy drawings they are fascinated with spotting the strange creatures in the terrarium and the fan blown sytrofoam balls in the project space out the back of the gallery.

“Nothing astounds me more than the taste of the commonalty for dogs, cats, parrots, etc. For my part, a creature interests me only when its reactions become totally alien to me. The leech isn’t too bad, the starfish is quite an improvement. But slugs! Speak to me of slugs!” – Julien Torma (1902 -1933) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Torma

Katherine MacIagan’s “Creature Series” consisted of slugs in a terrarium, magnificent slugs worthy of Julien Torma, sparkling “jewellery objects” of copper, enamel paint, silicone, fur and stainless steel, like nudibrake amidst the sticks and dead leaves.

By 7pm a large crowd was filling Brunswick Arts and the warehouse space was really heating up even with the efforts of the two portable air-con units. Outside in Little Breeze Street behind Alaysa’s – there are building sites everywhere, Brunswick Arts is about to be surrounded by 9 story apartment blocks – Winchester, the gallery cat was waiting for people to pat him as they left.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

One response to “Fun to Funky @ Brunswick Arts

  • louise

    Hi Mark, thanks for coming along and for the supportive write up. Glad you enjoyed the show so much, I certainly do! Gotta go check in on what the tofee’s up to! Sorry I didn’t get to meet you – thought I spotted you when I was talking to some other folks. One of these days….

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