Tuesday, 18 July 2017

William Gaudinez & Valentine Brown

July 16 - August 19   Romancing the Colony

The installation titled, Romancing the Colony is Slot’s response to the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project at AGNSW, a series of exhibitions across Sydney galleries focusing on Filipino art practices. Here William Gaudinez and Valentine Brown offer romantic views of colonization in their respective countries, the Philippines and Australia. 

Retablo by William Gaudinez, Painting on wood by Valentine Brown, 'prayer book' by William Gaudinez, painting on wood by Valentine Brown [left to right].

The Filipino artist, William Gaudinez works within the votive Retablo form of the Spanish who’s period as the archipelago’s colonizer is bookended by the subject matter of his two works.  

'Retablo' by William Gaudinez. Painting on wood.
He illustrates the period before the Spanish with the mythological sea voyage of the people to their land while the period following Spanish colonization is encapsulated in the coming of the Filipino Republic.  


He offers a perhaps romanticized reading of colonization stretching from the mythic Bayanihan past of shared work to a present day amalgamation  of parts as series of purposeful and scarred interventions.

Valentine Brown’s map of Australia is a folk art form that is also the colonialist’s view of the continent first drawn in entirety by Matthew Flinders and Boongaree in 1810.

Valentine Brown's colonial narrative on map of Australia
His paintings illustrate the poetry of Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson who celebrated Australia’s 19th-century folk lore and in particular the battle between the old hand and the new chum fought out in Patterson’s poem Saltbush Bill.  Today the poem unintentionally reflects the position of both the Aboriginal and the refugee/immigrant with in the polyglot of pre-republic Australia. 

Today the poem unintentionally reflects the position of both the Aboriginal and the refugee/immigrant within the polyglot of pre-republic Australia. Through the agency of colonization our small exhibition links history to mythology in an articulation of the substantial connection we have with the place of our birth irrespective of racial identification.

In a second iteration of our response to the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, Slot will present an exhibition of painting by the Filipino abstractionist, Melbourne Aquino.

Tony Twigg
Director, SLOT 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Janice Fieldsend

June 11 - July 14   FunkyTown : Discotheque Series 2017

Janice Fieldsend. FunkyTown, 2017. Acrylic on foiled wallpaper. 226 x 198 cm
For this work, Janice has supplied some texts that echo the emotions she tries to capture with this work on paper:  The best clothes, the best moves, the best hair…..  Soul Train youtube video   Papa was a Rolling Stone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g7KawdsVSQ

I was watching a video of George Michael dancing on stage in Rio de Janeiro 1991. He could do anything, be anything.

Figure out how to put satisfying marks onto a slippery surface. Subtle private marks, not big gestures. Nothing about imparting any wisdom to the world.

Janice Fieldsend. FunkyTown, 2017. Acrylic on foiled wallpaper. 226 x 198 cm
….I wish there could be a club in a plain-looking suburb where you could walk through the door on a Friday night and find a funk paradise - everyone you have ever liked or loved or slept with or rejected or been rejected by, adorable people you’ve never met, strangers looking into each other’s faces and bursting out laughing, detectives and journos in suits struttin’ with their elbows out, whole gangs of Asian students,dignified old Jewish couples, backpackers from every land, lonely boys and bored teenage girls rushing out onto the floor. All crippling thoughts of cool would explode and vanish, and everything would be forgiven, everything redeemed. 

Helen Garner 
                                                                                                          Sydney Morning Herald 3rd November 2012

Is painting the good object? 

Leave some things unanswered.     

Janice Fieldsend is an artist I have collaborated with and from that experience, I witnessed first hand her acute sensitivity to the aesthetics of materials.  This sensibility has given humble materials, often cast-offs, a transformative journey, and often resulting in an eye catching art work.

This work has the same effect on me.  A humble foiled wall paper, perhaps salvaged from the Reverse Garbage, has manifested as the support for blobs of colourful acrylic paintJanice has not painted since her early twenties.  For this project, she has decided to return to painting, and in her own words, she wants to make 'mediocre' paintings that involve taking risks that she didn't have the courage to do in her early career as an artist.  To this effect, she has also shifted from her usual palettes of earth-rust-black colour scheme to brighter primary colours.

As her accompanied texts suggest, Janice's use of the humble bronze wall paper has assigned it to the centre of focus in the light box on Botany Road.  It exudes indulgence and preciousness.  The lights from the traffic reflect on the bronze wall paper, adding shimmers to discotheque effect.  The use of this ordinary material turned glamorous when covered with blobs of seductive primary coloursAnything ordinary has the potential for 'good' and 'happiness'.

Anie Nheu
Caretaker of Slot

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Keiko Matsui

 7 May - 7 June      Scar Vessels


Keiko Matsui. Scar vessels series, 2014. Installation with porcelain, ceramic and wooden chair.

Directly stemming from my Japanese heritage and familiarity with the mending and restoring technique known as Kintsugi, my current work explores the altering and reforming of fine porcelain forms through the cutting and rejoining of sections. The Kintsugi itself celebrates the damage and subsequent visible mending that results from the use of important functional objects.

Handwoven fabrics are overtly repaired (with contrasting pieces covering tears and worn areas as patches) while broken ceramics are glued (with lacquer and gold powder used to make such repairs highly visible) a clear celebration of use, breakage and its mending. Such activities are in direct conflict to the rejection of wear and breakage so embedded in my adopted Western culture.

I enjoy working with fine porcelain. It is extremely sensitive and responsive to the human touch when it’s soft. When fired, it becomes translucent and very strong. The nature of clay is endlessly fascinating.

I make a symmetrical shape on the wheel or paper-thin soft slab from porcelain, and then alter the form by cutting and re-joining the parts.

When putting the parts together with liquid clay, excess clay pushes out of the joint and makes a line like a human scar. I am drawn to the idea of an organic detail juxtaposed with the consistent lines of the wheeled form. It is like finding imperfection in our everyday.

I seek simple beauty in my work. 

Keiko Matsui 0425-725- 978
Email: info@keikomatsui.com.au

Keiko Matsui's installation of Scar Vessels series consists mostly of the porcelain pieces made in 2014 with the more recent chair series.  These pieces are minimal in form.  The variations that create their individuality are mostly in the way the porcelain sheets are folded and joined.  They enclose the space they inhabit and turned to vessels to contain.   How these porcelain sheets meet dictate the forms they take.  Inspired by the art of Kintsugi, the junctures are left with their 'mending' tracesHaving them as an integral part of the identity of these forms, their appearance suggests bodies with healed scars.

The configuration of the familiar shapes found in the homes of the everyday conjures up intimate domestic setting.  The use of scale in the ceramic chair with the 'real' chair provides a poetic narrative on the relationships amongst the assembled pieces. This reminds me of Robert Therrien's use of unusual scale in his re-creation of everyday objects as sculptures to strip the visual cue of their assigned functions. They are instead used as personal symbols to regenerate an emotional space of a childhood memory.  This is echoed in Keiko's installation.

In this installation beauty is sought in the making, mending and in the arrangement. The creation of beauty in this space is controlled.  It is driven by the process of working with the intrinsic nature of the materials and an 'innate knowing' that has passed down through the generatio

Anie Nheu
Caretaker of Slot