Two-Up in Ideas Platform, Artspace

Two-Up has been curated into a show at the Ideas Platform, Artspace.

Harriet Body, Penelope Cain, Shireen Taweel and Hannah Toohey have worked closely with Artspace curators through a series of studio visits and mentored exchanges over the past three months. This process has culminated in a group exhibition in Artspace’s Ideas Platform, co-curated by Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor, Curator Talia Linz, Curatorial Assistant Lola Pinder and Parramatta Studios Coordinator Sophia Kouyoumdjian. 

Opening: Wednesday 8 November, 6pm

Exhibition Dates: 9 November – 9 December, 2017

43 – 51 Cowper Wharf Road
Wolloomooloo, Sydney

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, 2017 Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, fabric, trimmings, wood 130 x 190 cm

Two-Up  is part of an ongoing line of investigation reflecting broadly on the politics and spatiality of occupation and territory. This investigation engages with the spatiality of colonialism and sovereignty, both old and new, formal and informal, and consider to differing degrees Australia’s history and contemporary resource politics.

The work follows on from Undermine, currently exhibited in the Fishers Ghost Exhibition, Campbelltown Art Gallery. Both works pivot from a small painting by a nineteenth century former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock, in the State Library Collection. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour, encompassing a view of the emerging commerce and city of the colony, and was central to my previous exhibition, Profiteer Chic, at Artereal Gallery, July 2017, through its imagery and the historic and economic narratives it contained.

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, detail, 2017 UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, 100x 130

This new work takes the form of a semicircular work on linen, with fibreglass and acrylic printed shadows of two oil rigs occupying the harbour.  Using the positive and negative silhouettes was an attempt to imply a temporal rupture- I’m repeatedly drawn to the material potential for the fibreglass mesh to give a ghosting or after image like effect- like the image burned on eyelids from looking.

A semicircular netting and fabric pennant resting underneath the linen work, to form a broken circle shape. In making this pennant or banner form, I wanted to imply a form of hegemonic power, with overt references to sovereign flags and religious or military regalia, and even loosely to tribal masks, with the silhouette of two gambling chips, like bilateral eyes.

In making this pennant, using fabrics more often associated with dance or burlesque, I was thinking about the performability of commerce, politics and power in the urban landscape, and from a formal aspect, experimenting with modes of expanding the 2-D painting surface.


Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace


Penelope Cain Tenure

Tenure, 2017 Poles, fabric, coreflute, rope, cement cast sandcastles Provisional installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace