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

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


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Pia Larsen

9 April - 8 May      Their Loss is Our Loss

The installation titled, Their Loss is Our Loss, brings together a human form in ‘Indigenous poppies’ alongside an Indigenous honour roll, (first exhibited at the Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern as part of The Coloured Digger II exhibition). 

Pia Larsen. Their Loss is Our Loss. Copper, acrylic paint, paper + pins
The work draws on Australia’s long and powerful indigenous history, and its engagement with more recent white history. The exhibition has been timed to coincide with ANZAC Day, a National Day to commemorate sacrifice. 

The Indigenous honour roll titled, He came and joined the colours, mixes ‘Indigenous Poppies,’ created with the colours of the Australian Aboriginal Flag, designed in 1971 by Harold Thomas, and ‘National Poppies’ using the colours and symbols from Australia’s National flag. It honours the sacrifice and patriotism of Indigenous soldiers and personnel, with particular reference to 2nd World War Sapper Bert Beros’s poem, ‘The Coloured Digger’. 

I was granted permission to use the colours of the Australian Aboriginal Flag. 


Pia Larsen during the installation.

Pia Larsen 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Glenn Locklee

11 March - 8 April      The Urban and Industrial

Glenn Locklee. Installation of The Urban and Industrial. Oil paintings on aluminum panels.

I am a South West Sydney artist who observe two societal phenomena: the increasing redundancy of small business and domestic manufacturing; and the proliferation of high-rise, high-density living as house and land ownership become increasingly unattainable.

The burgeoning demand and ease of access to imported commodities has governments and businesses scrambling to claim new expanses of riverside land for development. Such voracity has resulted in an ever-changing physical environment and a desired lifestyle of material aspiration and human disconnect.

My paintings are not overtly political, nor do they carry an agenda of protest. They stand as silent witnesses to change; evocative peripheral images that conjure up subliminal memories and reflection of the industrial environments of South West Sydney where I grew up. This is evident not just in the subjects of these works, but also the poetic architecture and process of making these works. The sparse geometric construction and layers of tertiary colours play off against the expressionist rendering of surface and portrayal of light. The use of aluminum as a canvas - known to be a common building material - compliments the surface texture, but also reveals the very material of our being.


Glenn Locklee. The Urban and Industrial. Oil painting on aluminum.

The subject matter and visual presentation of these paintings are readily accessible.  With the title assigned to this installation, the reading of it is neatly wrapped.  Being the 'silent witness' to changes in the built environment, Glenn has selected the geometries and compose that he responds to.  This and the use of material are the two elements in Glenn's works that I enjoy.

Of all the paintings Glenn painted that I have seen, they do not have a human figure in them. Almost always the images show only a sense of human presence with abandoned buildings and consumer cast-offs.  This de-selection brings to mind the idea of de-humanisation as the inevitable by-product of industrial development.

Ironically, Glenn's paintings of buildings have a strong human narrative.  While Glenn uses the buildings as a springboard for his image-making with its geometries, shapes, lines and light; his interest is never to reduce them to mere compositions as do the Russian Constructivists and Reductive painters.  It is important for Glenn that the feel and materiality of the surfaces he witnesses are captured in his paintings. They are a vehicle for him to craft the tactile and spatial nuances for his narrative.  Through the realism of these surfaces, the familiar and the common are drawn upon to document the built remnants of human trail and activities resulted from the unending focus on profit making in the industrial world.

Looking at this installation, there is a strong visual play on the idea of balance.  The diagonal structures are often supported precariously either by a container on stilts as its base, or its support is blocked from line of sight.  It comes to mind the uncertainties as to whether there is check and balance in the unending developments in our world where its resource is finite.

Anie Nheu
Caretaker of Slot

All photographs by Glenn Locklee