Friday, October 21, 2011

Ryan Presley at Jan Manton.

I've been stuck in NZ for a little while with work and the world cup so wasn't able to get to see the new Ryan Presley show at Jan Manton which looked amazing online. What is an art collector to do? Well, when my mum said she was going to be in Bris Vegas for the day I made sure she put Jan's gallery on her itinerary. Jan runs a quirky little space in Spring Hill and has a good eye for emerging talent - she had Tony Albert on the roster years ago and he is really taking off now. The show has recently ended (I'm a little behind in my posts here, its harder on an ipad despite what the ads say) so you'll have to click on the link to see what all the fuss was about.

Ryan's work is basically counterfeit money. His latest show Prosperity, just like his first show Blood Money (which won the Griffith Uni graduation show), takes Aussie currency and updates it with more politicised aboriginal content. Funny that he doesn't use the old paper banknotes, which I think had a far greater proportion of dead white men. I guess it would have been pretty inconceivable at the time to have an aboriginal person on the decimal notes that were released in 1966. The new plastic notes (released in 1991) equalised the gender but only feature one aboriginal person - on the $50. Points if you knew it was David Unaipon, I did have to look it up. Ryan's current currency features Vincent Lingiari, Fanny Balbuk, Truganinni, Jandamarra and Gladys Tybingoompa. Again I'll double those points if you knew all these people, which I guess is his point that contemporary Australia doesn't really know much of Aboriginal history or didn't think it worthy enough for the official coin of the realm. These big works (75 x 1000cm) were pretty popular - red dots everywhere. The only question was whether this boyhood paper money collector would put one in the Big Lamington bank ...

Points from mum (these were originally reversed as she didn't get the whole 3, 2, 1 thing but that has all been explained now). 3 to $100 note, good detail and nice black cockatoos. 2 to the $20 note (ed. note: big red works usually sell well so no surprise this has gone) and 1 point to the $10 note. Also an honourable mention (does Mum think she is judging at the show? We don't hand out highly commended ribbons every week you know!) to the set of 4 hand coloured actual bank note sized etchings ( 7x13 cm) fine detailed work! Yours for $1200. These aren't on the website but Jan is really great to deal with over the interwebs so drop her a line if interested.

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