penelope cain artist

Growth at all Costs! A-M Gallery

Growth at all Costs! is a solo show of new work at A-M Gallery, Wilson St, Newtown.

12-30th May, 2015

http://www.a-mgallery.com/pages/exhibitions.html

This current line of enquiry was triggered by cutting out maps of cities. Growth Solution #1: Sydney is a mapping of the form of the built city through the location of flat black sequins, and excising the built city out and away from its territory. This process opened questions about the economics of land in ‘the city’ and broader questions about how the economy is presented and performed in the city; a functional economic and trade nexus.

That there is a performative element to economics is a proposition that is played out through an intentional collision of apparently disparate elements- the performative aspects of colonial landscape painting, Victorian mourning jewellery and tribal religious regalia.

The works pay out on economic phrases and terms heard and repeated to the point of mantra, such as that in the show’s title- ‘growth at all costs’. These are stretched and played to a point of surreality through the collaged motifs of shields, plaques and monuments, denoting a type of ceremonial intensity, yet these propositional relics are rendered in intentionally perverse materials such as visually fugitive flyscreen mesh and intensely solid industrial rubber sheeting, and decorated with lavish feathers and almost burlesque sequins.

growth solution#1

Growth Solution #2: Sydney. Sequins, fabric-backed map.

 

growth solution#1_detailThe works link materially and thematically to recent previous work- in the Paramor Art+ Innovation Award and the Blake Prize earlier this year, as well as MFA graduation work, mid 2014.

 

Flyscreen mesh provides a sense of the provisional, elusive; the retinal after-image. The feathers and sequins are both a nod to the burlesque, and to the intensity of decoration found in religious relics and costumes.

In an interesting synchronicity, this exhibition opened on the same evening as the 2015 federal budget release. Indeed.

costs_1

Costs : detail feathers, flyscreen mesh, sequins. 2015

three wise men_smaller

Growth Solution: The Three Wise Men Look Over the Crown Casino Building Site. flyscreen mesh, tape, rubber, digital print on silk, sequins. 201

capital back_smaller

Capital (back of work), installation view in gallery window. Rubber, feathers, netting. 32 cm (w) x 120 cm (h), 20

loss 1

Loss : installation view. Rubber, feathers, nylon, mesh, thread. 60 cm (w) x 128 cm (h), 2015