Imperfect friends, exhibition
Fell, F 2016, Imperfect friends, exhibition, Watters Gallery, East Sydney, NSW, 30 August - September.
Watters Gallery has been one of the most important and innovative private galleries in Sydney since it first opened in 1964. It remains at the forefront of contemporary art in Australia, refusing to follow art-world fashions and adhering to a policy of showing only those artists who are totally committed to their work. To this end it relies on the unerring vision of its directors, Frank Watters and Geoffrey Legge. The solo Exhibition titled Imperfect Friends consisted of 9 original sculptural ceramic works exhibited at Watters Gallery 109 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney October 2016. The title of each piece emulates an identity through language which associates itself to the visual image proffered. The piece displayed in the flyer is perhaps the most representative of this: donned with a grey cap in which two holes are punched to suggest his eyes, Grief Shrouden bears a funeral veil that hides a disturbing identity expressed in the intense treatment of clay, colour and glaze, suggesting suffering in bare flesh rather than the protection of a separating, self-containing skin. The tension between the inner depth of emotion and the not-so-quiet veneer of the surface contrasts with the cold distance that attempts to hide corpses under heavy tombstones. The somewhat eclectic group of figures is pulled together by both the treatment of material and the names bestowed upon them. To an extent, this exhibition shows the way in which my initial treatment of the material of clay has shifted to a more unorthodox and confronting process of making and narrative expression, under the influence of interdisciplinary collaboration and bodily inter-action, which is part of my research focus.