Field of Science

Scratching the Surface

Perth, Australia - I found myself in a coffee shop in downtown Perth today just as I would likely of been in Seattle. It was as if I were in a parallel dimension and indeed I talked about parallel dimensions with some new friends I met. I asked them about places in Perth and they asked me about the Universe; I think I learned as much about Perth as they learned about the Universe.

I walked north towards a pub they recommended, but on the way I discovered something much more interesting. I stumbled upon the Scratching the Surface art show. It was a visual art gallery opening by several young artists just beginning to make they mark upon they world, or as they said just scratching the surface. I was walking along the street when I took a double take upon seeing book pages folded upon themselves in a mysterious manner. It was Pascal Proteau's work from recycled books. One of the most imposing works was a massive balance of books holding upon itself a crooked balance of folded book pages.
Nathan Brooker presented a series of works that were reminiscent of Andy Warhol in their repetition and bright colors. Some of his work was shocking. The image below is tame, but the Nathan did many more interesting things which cannot be shown (here is a seriously not safe for general consumption, very intense and shocking do not click here if you don't want to be offended image of Booker with art).
There was lots of shocking art including strange embroidery by Carla Adams. She used homely materials to create dangerous and daring works. I assure you that the image here is the most tame possible from the work she had on display. I asked her what had turned her mind to think of such juxtaposed concepts and she said that it was exactly that, the juxtaposition itself of feminine handy work and male homosexuality.
I was drawn in by the strange folding of books, but it was Ian Williams piece that really stole the show for me. He called it 'Under the Influence', but whatever the influence was it was inspired. An acrylic on oil board piece it was a work of labor as he told me it was painted with acrylic then sanded down then painted again. The entire piece had a subtle checkerboard texture pattern which resulted. And the eyes. The eyes followed the viewer from every angle. This piece was also amazingly large (1.8 by 1.2 meters) which added to its captivating features. It was a stunning piece. He is a talented artist.
Finally, here is a piece of art created just this evening by a friend who I know only as Silvia. She was an art student at the same school in Perth (CIT) as all the artists featured above. I went to a bar (with the aptly artistic name Ezra Pound) with her after the art show and she drew this for (or rather of) me.
It was a strange day in a strange place, but it was fantastic. Tomorrow, I head north into the desert and the Outback.

1 comment:

  1. Are you going to Melbourne at any stage? If you are, I'd strongly recommend the penguin parade on Phillip Island. Really cool, and a bonus of a pitch-black sky if it's clear.


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