Exhibition by Artonomy: 14 Degrees of Separation

"Untitled/2017" by Beverley Iles. Work number 3 in the exhibition "Artonomy: 14 Degrees of Separation" at Ellenbrook Gallery, 4 May - 31 May, 2018.

“Untitled/2017” by Beverley Iles. Work number 3 in the exhibition “Artonomy: 14 Degrees of Separation” at Ellenbrook Gallery, 4 May – 31 May, 2018.

Participating artists are: Angela Leaney, Beverley Iles, Criss Sullivan, Cynthia Payne, Denise Pepper, Gabrielle Hart, Georgina Moss, Gregor Hart, Jenelle Melville, Lyn Bindley, Peter Dailey, Tami Esancy, Tracey Hart, and Vernon Durling.

When I first entered this exhibition, I was confused – there were works with obvious links to other works on view, but they were hung metres apart. I wondered why they would do that? I walked across the gallery to the one I felt was related – trying to understand why what seemed to be disparate work was hung together, and related works apart. Every work is untitled, and I needed some clues to the layout logic. Another circuit – still no leads. The floor sheet shows that works are arranged in 4 sets and in numerical order. OK then – I’ll start with the first work of the first set and go from there. Work 1 features a telephone, which I interpreted as opening the lines of communication and the second work seemed to validate this with lines of readable text accompanying 2 drawings. This was followed by a textile book with embroidered lines and shapes reminiscent of the 2 drawings. The last work in this set is an eye-catching photographic print of emu feathers. Once my confusion reduced I realised that there are some exciting, well-executed works in this exhibition.

It was interesting to work through each of the first 3 sets chronologically, analysing each work to find what had been extracted from the previous work, interpreted and passed along through the respondent work. It was fun to work out “how to get there from here” as it were. But I found myself wanting to see the respondent works elaborated or extended. This need was partially met by Set 4. Six of the 14 artists had produced additional work which could easily be the start of a large body of work. As a viewer I found myself thinking that maybe one set of the Chinese Whispers style exercise with perhaps 3-5 works from each artist taking one aspect of the exercise further would have been more satisfying. But that probably wasn’t the goal for the group. The Artology group has successfully shown the work resulting from coordinated regular group meetings to exchange ideas and discuss current projects.

Artonomy: 14 Degrees of Separation is on now at Ellenbrook Art Gallery, 34 Main St, Ellenbrook 6069. The exhibition runs from 5-30 May 2018 (Open Wed-Fri 10am-2pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm)