Saturday, April 18, 2015

PODspace  presents 


PODspace in association with the Disability Network Hunter presents its first pop up exhibition for 2015 with ‘Identity’ at Newcastle Art Space from 16 April - 3 May.

‘Identity’ explores this universal theme - what defines who you are? What makes you tick? How do you express that?

(from PODspace)

Each of the artists has responded in a uniquely personal way. Some, like Tim Johnston, Jordan Haitsma, Dane Tobias, Maree Hopkin and Nathan Dunne have explored what is important to them in their lives and in the world around them.

Dane Tobias states that My paintings are based on autobiographical drawings which reflect the past and present suburban environments and intimate spaces of friends and relations”. Janelle Gardner has experimented with the Van Dyke photography process on an image of herself as a young child to create a positive experience of her childhood memories.Others like Dom Freestone and Kerri Shying have sought to explore and even confront in a highly revealing way what it means to experience disability or mental illness.

Dom Freestone explores his identity a lot through his art. He feels that “...having a disability has forced me to undergo a rethink of exactly what my identity is”.  Kerri Shying poses three questions in her work: What is your birth identity? What identity are you choosing to display today? What environment do you negotiate your identity in? She believes that “Identity, the art of belonging in our lives, is the basis of all my work. Identity is performative and dependent upon whom we are surrounded. We send signals that we hope our world will decode.” Melaynie Mills also poses questions for the viewer around perceptions of identity and the inner struggles we all face to work out who we are.

For others, the process of their art making is in direct response to their experience of disability or mental illness.

Black Crow Walking’s work portrays the way she has sought to recreate herself following a work accident, moving through the chaos and the tangled events into a better space.  Similarly, Daniel Oxenbridge is working towards establishing who he is, post major brain surgery. His creation of Native Nut Folk was an important part of his initial rehabilitation that made connections between his passion for being in and preserving the natural environment and fond childhood memories.

Lynette Bridge, in reflecting on her own experience of anxiety and depression, states that the series of work exhibited in Gallery One, “...began to have a life of its own.............I wanted to transport the image through time by photographing it with a slow shutter speed whilst the form would undergo metamorphosis but still keep the essence and purity of form".
Jay Muldoon explores the idea that in life we go through many cycles that make up who we are. He has represented this with the more dominate geometric shape of the circle while the organic shapes and patterns represent growth inspired from nature.

Robert Higginbottom loves painting and has observed that the colours he uses vary depending on how he is feeling. Mackenzie Feighan also expresses her feelings through colour and her paintings include her personal world: scary zombies, Mum, Dad, Zoe, dogs, flowers, spiders, cockroaches, shoes, ice-creams and funny babies. Frazer Berwick is an abstract artist and mark maker whose art reflects his writing. Superheroes inspire him.

We invite you to reflect on your own identity, and how it has been shaped by your life experiences. (PODspace)

Some images from this exhibition below:
Dane Tobias - Walking through the cyan window

Janelle Gardner - Ulladulla
Kerri Shying - Criminals are Cleanshaven
Kerri Shying -  Tarry Tarry Night

Tim Johnson  - Earth Core Rig
Lynette Bridge - Yoke

Nathan Dunne - Star Shine

If art is about exploring and considering themes about personal identity and if art is about understanding what it takes to create work directly out of the experience of identifying as a wonderfully simple and complex human being, then this exhibition is about making art.  Standing at a distance from the work and the space and reading some of the titles and statements the artists have written about themselves, this holds together as a personal and professional collection of work(Blogger comment)