Sunday, August 26, 2012

CRONIES at Roslyn Oxley - 25 August

This was a quick visit to take advantage of the group show curated by Mikala Dwyer and Fleur Wiber and see a handful of artists I'd ordinarily not know. So it was off down the hill into lower Paddington to see what Roslyn Oxley had in store ...

CRONIES (again with the title in capslock and italics, I feel I am missing something here, is there an art gallery style guide that I don't have?) showcases the work of a number of PhD and Masters candidates that Mikala Dwyer supervises at the Sydney College of the Arts.  So it is nice that she has been able to get them a group show in Paddo.  It also explains how all these random pieces connect. First thing you see is the glitter work of Johnny Niesche ("Sugar 'n' Spikes"pictured above). I've only recently been a fan of over the top glitter use after seeing some Reuben Paterson works in NZ. It really is quite visually striking, although if someone could explain to me his artist statement on the room sheet it would be much appreciated: "questioning the question is the crux of the quest", indeed! He has got another great piece around the corner using two mirrors to make a single piece of glittered wood appear as a wooden frame. Nice trick. Katie Williams has what looks to be a big old phone booth made out of copper sheeting.  Apparently it is a 'faraday cage' and can block cellular networks etc.  Okay, so don't use it to make private calls. I thought taxidermy should be represented somewhere and wasn't disappointed by Eloise Kirk's installation which made quite good use of a poor old coyote. I liked how she tried to convey the sense of the desert's vastness with only a minimalist touch. There was a table of props from what looks like a performance where Marya Elimelakh drinks vodka shots and recites russian history. Judging by the number of empty bottles this must have been some performance. I am sorry I missed it.

Points: I think Johnny Niesche could clean up here.  3 for "Sugar 'n' spikes" and 2 for his mirror sculpture "A. Sprinkle".  To mix it up will give 1 point to Eloise Kirk for her "Westering" installation, which manages to fuse taxidermy, a video and a box full of dirt in a thoughtful way.

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