Saturday, March 11, 2017

Identity and the Poetic Response.

Michelle Wild: untitled lithograph 2016

Opening at the Queensland College of Arts Project Gallery next Tuesday is the group exhibition Poetics of Identity. The exhibition features the collective efforts of four final year graduate students from various studio practices. The disciplines of printmaking, artists' books, jewellery and small objects and interdisciplinary drawing are each represented.The show evolved from the initiative of one of the exhibiting students Michelle Wild  and my guidance in gathering student/artists working in different studio practices who I recognised as having a strong commitment and belief in the process of making and its capacity to evoke a strength of narrative or meaning that evolved from personal stories.

The brief for Poetics of  Identity was deliberately ambiguous and related to little more than a description of how mytho-poetics or self-narratives can often collide to varying degrees with the collective societal, cultural or historical perception of identity. 
For Michelle Wild the process has evolved through a mix of covert political responses relating to the plight of refugees and a cross cultural journey disclosed through her children's connection to their birth place of Taiwan. Michelle's print practice has developed  as a dialogue between traditional lithographic process and the inclusion of the found or fabricated object. Poetics of Identity provides Michelle with the opportunity to extend this dialogue and recognise the capacity of personal stories to embrace a more collective consciousness.
                                                        Emmalyn Hawthorne: untitled collage: 2017

Emmalyn Hawthorne's work  provides the most overt poetic response to the fluid concept of identity. Through a collection of fragmented collage, painting and drawing responses that retain echos of the early Surrealist object-poems, Emmalyn uses her engagement with everyday experiences as a means of quietly reflecting and I imagine at times escaping from the din of contemporary life. Through a juxtaposition of hand written poetic verse on the gallery wall and fragments of visual responses these works grasp at the impossibility of containing the  transitional nature of our everyday experiences. In effect Emmalyn's dialogue relates to quiet collisions between the materiality of surfaces and the materiality of words.
Jungha Park: untitled lithograph 2017
The prints of Korean student Jungha Park reference the photographic image and its indexical gesture towards the nature of memory and the filtering sway of the past within the present. Jungha's high level of technical skill and succinct connection to a number of printmaking methods allows her to fully explore and exhaust the relationship between meaning and medium. Jungha takes the viewer through an understated and covert unfolding of the existential self that evokes John Locke's notion of the shifting self.
"and I myself am never in one moment what I was in another"

Jeweller Robyn Pell provides a collection of bricolage artifacts and wearable pieces that blend elements of historical narrative and personal experience. Robyn's work affirms her commitment to the thought that to comprehend the present requires an imaginative response directed towards the historical past. Embedded in these gleaned and assembled artifacts is perhaps the response of the fictional history writer. As an author of objects Robyn blends self-narrative with historical accounts to emphasise the capacity for remnants of the past to disclose meaningful associations in the present.

Poetics of Identity...small collisions of self-narrative and historical consciousness.

Griffith University Queensland Collage of Art 
Project Gallery
March 14-25th. Opening event: Friday 17th. March 6pm-8pm.

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