IN THE MIX AT REMIX
Apparently it has been five years since the Art Gallery of Western Australia presented us with a sample of contemporary West Australian artists’ creations. Those who have been selected work in a diverse range of mediums - from film to jewellery, and everything in between. The last exhibition is so long ago I can’t remember anything much about it, and feel that this new show may be a little overdue. So I was curious to see who had made it into the mix.I wasn’t disappointed to be greeted by Paul Caporn’s collapsed scissor lift leaning against the gallery wall barely able to support itself. Brendan Van Heck’s “Great White Hope” could also be seen further into the gallery and the two pieces worked together beautifully; they are both strong pieces. They deserved more attention, but first I had to see everything else that was on offer.
The video “Gymnasium” by Taryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont
provoked the, “What the…?” question from everyone who saw it. People
relieved to be in a gallery where they had the comfort of knowing it
Initially I found it amusing to hear the upbeat, marching band music
the stylised, deliberate gymnastics reminiscent of an Aryan propaganda
with a number of the pieces in the exhibition I found the artist’s
didn’t quite translate to the piece. The link between the Australian
field and the battlefield didn’t seem entirely convincing. The values
“camaraderie, mental focus, bodily control, submissive behaviour and
of pain” appear to be admired in most societies, and not just on the
sport/battlefield. I’d quite like to visit a place where the opposite
valued - I expect I might feel at home. Unfortunately the repetitive
track was quite dominating (and eventually repelling) which detracted
work in close proximity.
Peak’s “Rumours of Strange” was beautifully imagined
and created. The small, precious objects were placed over a large,
map table. Without being overly stated the work is pertinent to Western
Australia’s exploration, mining, and industry. The work invites us to
into contemplating the treasures yet to be found.
Large sculptures had invited me into Remix but now I was being seduced by the work of two jewellers, Helena Boguki and Helen Britton. The work from Helen Boguki’s “Midland railway Workshop” series was both beautiful and poignant. In one, a diminutive coin purse along with the precious keepsake it held were encased in a simple, timber frame along with the owner’s details and artist’s comments on a typed sheet. These fragments of peoples’ lives convey histories and tender emotions that we know as part of our own stories. I felt somewhat voyeuristic as I inspected the intimate vignettes from other people’s lives. Boguki says that these collections are as important as the final pieces, and for me they were actually more compelling.Helen Britton’s artist statement is a delight to read and an excellent introduction to her work. Her sensitive drawings capture the character of the animals and objects she portrays with apparent simplicity and spontaneity. Upon closer inspection the technique appears more complex than the initial impression. The sinuous line work is defined by an overlay of white paint that creates a soft halo. The framed drawings complement the framed collections of jewellery. The small, glass bluebird nestled into its spiky nest of darkened silver and diamonds was particularly alluring. Its enchantment has seen it purchased by the Western Australian Gallery.
There were a number of pieces of furniture throughout the
exhibition and Adam Goodrum’s “Chatterbox” tables, with their multi
ceramic surfaces, demanded my attention. The joyful colours and stylish
appealed, but I wondered if they could be trusted to hold a great deal
There were other interesting pieces in the exhibition and
it’s worth taking the time to explore each piece, oh but for that
music! Back at the beginning I took the time to explore the pieces that
welcomed me to the show. Van Heck’s “Great White Hope”: a glowing
vertical, white neon tubes approximately 3metres long and 2 metres
received the Stringer Award and has been purchased by the gallery. The
intriguing aspect of the work is that the neon tubes are not regular;
swell at intervals, as if large droplets are travelling down the tubes.
both simple and complex.
Before I departed I needed a closer look at Paul Caporn’s
abject scissor lift. It was so well constructed that I had initially
was a piece of mangled equipment. In fact it was created from blue,
black, foam rubber, tumble mats. Scissor lifts are relied upon for
stability and strength, so to see one in such a weakened state was
disconcerting. It reminded me yet again of our precarious position in
world, where nothing can be taken for granted.
visiting Remix I hadn’t been sure what to expect, I
had been slightly apprehensive, but I came away feeling relieved and
we’re holding our own in Western Australia. There is a lot of talent in
West, so let’s hope we will see similar exhibitions more often.