Image - Darryl Bowes, Incendiary (Postcards from Emerald City)
2009 digital print 1000cm x 700cm Courtesy of the artist.
GALLERY 1 Steel City Boys Lucas Grogan, Luke Thurgate & Darryl Bowes
Newcastle artists Darryl, Lucas and Luke are picking fights.
Their work is connected by a shared fascination for traditional and flawed notions of masculinity and patriotism. Steel City Boys present images which range from public spectacle to private pain. Their works position these artists as both incendiaries and voyeurs. Images are consciously provocative, investigating the political and social tension inherent in the Australian experience. All three artists deal with icons and stereotypes which are activated by implied or explicit moments of violence.
Thurgate uses pornography as a metaphor for real and feigned physical and emotional experience. His drawings stage a dialogue between violence and sex. The images are nostalgic and deliberately sentimental. Head injuries, burns and scars operate as signifiers of male intimacy. The works romanticise the parallel intensity of fighting and fucking.
Bowes takes the ocular experience of Sydney and reduces it to a picturesque twilight zone. We live in an Age of Terror defined by simplistic politics and ambiguous international paranoia. These are bad dreams that trouble our city fathers - the ironic burning of the Islamic inspired Sydney Opera House, or a car-bomb detonated on the northern approach to the Harbour Bridge. Here, our passivity and the relativity of our isolation and paranoia are simultaneously exploded as myth.
Lucas Grogan tells stories. His complex drawings conflate the everyday with myth, fact with fiction, the personal with the public. A conceptual cocktail of imagery that sometimes produces a Molotov. Employing scurrilous humour Grogan focuses on the points of contention and stress in Australian society. The intricate patterning of these works offers a delicate seduction which belies the uncomfortable and confronting nature of his cultural transgression.
IImage: Trevor Fry, Pottery is the new video, performance, 2009. photo by Sarah Goffman, photoshop by the artist.
GALLERY 2 Pottery is the new video
In his performance videos, drawings and installations Trevor Fry has played with transgression using confronting sexual imagery, abjection and excess. In ‘Pottery is the New Video’ he applies this aesthetic to an installation of ceramic sculptures. In an experimental art context the fragile coil-built sculptures transgress on several levels; they are objects, not ephemera; they are traditionally figurative; they are ceramics, a marginalised discipline, made of a low material, clay; they are highly crafted, demonstrating the manual skill of the artist; their intensely decorated surfaces and intriguing shapes are visually attractive; they are gay; they are camp; they are scatological. With the addition of video, detritus and other material, the installation becomes an unruly and chaotic accumulation of elements.
Trevor has exhibited in numerous artist run situations in Sydney. He has had solo shows at the Mardi Gras’ Raw Nerve gallery in 1996, Firstdraft, Tap Gallery, Squatspace and previously at MOP in 2005. Between 2003 and 2007 he was a member of the Wild Boys collective who created party happenings in galleries and performed radical drag in public spaces. The Wild Boys participated in It’s a New Day at Artspace in 2006. Originally a painter, Trevor studied Time Based Art at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW (Cofa) in 2001, and recently began a research masters in ceramics at Sydney College of the Arts.