Our November showcase featured 2 female artists exploring the fundamental elements of their practice in new detail and richly personal ways. Through their longstanding local presence, the energy that Naylor and Weinthal (nee Rigby) brought to our space was nothing but magic.
As a longtime friend and supporter of Bronte Naylor and Alice Wienthal (nee Rigby), Sandy Pottinger opened our evening celebration with some beautiful words encapsulating her experience of both bodies of work. The two very different exhibitions complemented each other in their refreshing and deep exploration of creative process. A warm thank you to everyone who joined us for the opening celebrations!
‘All the Time’, by Bronte Naylor, is an exhibition that uses the ‘collage’ as a strategy to develop aesthetic stages allowing the series of multidisciplinary works to both recall and manipulate images, holding them in varying states of real and artificial realities. In the Main Gallery, the works collectively explore two notions: the quality of memory and secondly its ongoing continual state in a personalised engagement. The accuracy of our memory recall, as we know, is anything but linear. Instead as time passes the common accepted theory is that our memories fade over time and we can’t remember the finite details of what once was experienced. However through the use of the ‘collage’ this exhibition is saying that what actually occurs when we recall past memories (and those images attached) is a strengthening of that which is remembered because it becomes empowered by the fact that it is now not hidden amongst extraneous imagery. Through the pairing back of time as an internal filter, it allows each of our personalise memories to become a strengthening of fragments that aren’t actually ‘fragments’ but instead the actual core of the memory – the true essence of what it really is.
The works are constructed through the combination of initial staged photography that was then digitally manipulated. Through such a process the work invites the viewer to consider the difference between emulation and presentation, these two themes mirror ideas behind the constructs of memory. By contrasting these two conditions, a question of interference through such things as technology impacts our perception through time, place and medium. The ‘stage’ is an important ‘facet’ of the work because the actual artworks are dealing in flat layers of aesthetic truth. The staged scenes become isolated worlds where voyeurism plays a role through the camera lens. Then as these photographs are digitally manipulated their originality is transferred to the surface of the artwork where the building up of fragments taken from multiple photographic sources becomes a new aesthetic world, a new way of constructing a new reality, a new visual truth and the once original constructed source stage is now an abstraction that once was.
Firstly the reference images are highly staged with references back to cinema, and theatrical devices that are about constructing non-real places and experiences that are real in their own existence. The artworks in the exhibition appear to look like as if they are re-created by slack stagehands that are working in our memory faculty. Re-creating an ordinary experience using ratchet props and shot lighting, through the photographic lens the image is captured and is transferal to digital storage to then be retrieved and revisited through digital collage. The stages are both real, as in they exist, but they are unreal because they are invented environments.
'I draw and paint what are largely thought to be self portraits; androgynous staring faces, characters at home in their ambiguous surrounds either confronting or completely indifferent to their audience. In recent times I have been trying to re-examine why these images come from me, and how.
Studying art through kaleidoscopic reproductions on our phones can suggest an even playing field for artists; same tools, same audience, same scoring system. Lashings of likes from ambitious players can influence and direct content and creation. I am trying to turn back the clock and turn out the lights. Making art fun again is my key ambition with this show. By attempting to exhibit process over product I hope to get comfortable as an artist again and have an excellent time.' - Alice Weinthal, Project Space