End of year grad shows at tertiary institutions are always a treat however the large number of exhibits and less then ideal exhibition space often does nothing to enhance the work. Which is why it is much appreciated when a gallery selects what they consider the most promising graduates and offers them the chance to present their work in a proper setting.
The six exhibitors here certainly take advantage of this opportunity. We recall being impressed by the efforts of a couple of these graduates at their respective institution's show but seeing them again in a professional venue only reinforces the quality of the work. For example Natasha Mott's textile exhibits make a more potent statement here then in a corner next to a curtained doorway at ECU. With less peripheral distractions we can better focus on the stitched message and engage with the transfers, some enhanced with a touch of embroidery. Her visual discourse on rural life is thought provoking and well presented thanks to an excellent command of her artform.
More interesting then his spray paintings are Miik Green's fascinating sculpted objects. Oddly shaped and brightly coloured with automotive paint, they hint at precious 'things' that sit just beyond the edge of identification but nonetheless demand to be held and stroked. Not for holding but equally interesting to view are his three exhibits, Ebb, Ripple, and Suspension. Each involves a collection of repetitive fluid shapes cut from MDF, painted smooth and presented so they protrude from the wall like sliced droplets frozen in time and space.
The two wall installations by Katrina Virgona also offer interesting viewing thanks to fine craftsmanship. The colours and textures of the 26 symbols corresponding to letters of the alphabet in Codex Lector invite and intrigue as we pick out the symbols needed to 'write' our name. Less colourful but equally engaging is Closed Circuit where again we have 26 pieces, only these are black and white boxes each containing a different symbol. If you try, you may be able to decipher what is written on the back of the raised frames as they are reflected in a mirror attached to the surface.
The series of monochrome paintings Dress by Anwer Handmer provides a fine example of a typical art school exercise, so too are Lyle Branson's three cardboard busts of 20th Century American entrepreneurs atop cardboard plinths. They each get a pass mark as they display what the student can do. But the graphite pictures of the exhibits drawn on the gallery wall by Peter Carlino doesn't quite make the grade.
For the most part this is a well presented and enjoyable exhibition of new work by hopefully rising stars. It will be interesting to note where we see these artists next.
Read Another Art Seen Home