Using her body as a form, British artist Emma Constantine explores beauty and variety of Australian landscape and challenges notions of stewardship of the land.
Having spent time in four Australian states in the space of five months, Emma has created a work that displays the vast beauty and uniqueness that exists across Australia, with each video capturing what struck her most about being there.
A MULTI-MEDIA INSTALLATION BY SALLY CHESSELL. CURATED BY IRA FERRIS FOR ALPHA GALLERY, SYDNEY (August 2018).
Sydney-based artist Sally Chessell works across photo-media and installation.
For her first solo exhibition she brings together works that foreground the material and corporeal elements of an image as a way to explore grief, identity and mimesis.
Simultaneously full of absence and presence, the works are poetic inquiries in which one thing folds into the other: a photograph becomes a body and the body a photograph.
As she finds ways of locating herself within family, gendered and national histories, Chessell creates a texturally rich installation that is felt as much as seen.
These are images in which figures hide in the folds of fabric and histories too large evade the frame. These are objects in which the materials speak back and bodies absent seem to find form.
Sally Chessell’s work was accompanied by a written poetic response of Eleanor Jackson whose work has been described as “powerful quiet” and featured in Overland Journal, Arc Poetry Magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, Bareknuckle Poet Annual Anthology, Going Down Swinging, Peril Magazine, Scum Magazine.
A MIXED-MEDIA EXHIBITION BY GANBOLD GAWAA LUNDAA. CURATED BY IRA FERRIS AND DANIEL O'TOOLE FOR ALPHA GALLERY, SYDNEY. (May 2018)
"For the last 8 years, Erskineville-Mongolian artist Ganbold Gawaa Lunaa has been a Lost Nomad in Sydney. So much around him, including his own practice, seems to occur without conscious design.... life is getting Randomer and Randomer by the day.
From this place of chance and accident, Gawaa uses his art practice to question what is true or untrue around him. "No Bullshit" is one of his favourite catchphrases, pointing to the faulty ways in which we communicate and understand the world.
Gawaa continues to play with these defects in communication in Randomer. His arbitrary juxtaposition of words, objects, and images manifests as sculptures, collages, and abstract paintings, each one occupying an ambiguous space where meaning is slippery, sentences are elastic, and labels are misleading."
Text by Gab Bates.
More images here
Mladen Stilinović Study Centre
In April 2018, while on residency at Frontyard Projects, I had a lovely opportunity to participate in and contribute to Julia Bavyka's Mladen Stilinović Study Centre, an ongoing research project that uses the themes of the late Croatian conceptual artist Mladen Stilinović to spark conversations around art, economy, labour, language, ideology, originality, and value systems.
As part of the most recent iteration of this project, an exhibition in Adelaide, Julia displayed conversations she arranged with a number of Sydney-based artists and curators including Connie Anthens, Sarah Rodigari, Tessa Zettel, Malcolm Whittaker, Salote Tawale and Sally Chessell. Julia and I spoke about language and translation as labour, inspired by Stilinovic's proposition 'An artist who cannot speak English is not an artist".
Artist and curator occupy the Frontyard library for 2 weeks to rummage through its rich archive and create a collage a day.
Each day, within 5 hours of arrival into the space, artist places an analogue collage under the glass cabinet.
The collage is inspired by and made from the things found in the library (and maybe on the grounds of Frontyard). Neither artist nor curator can bring any of their own materials nor tools into the space.
Texts and images found in the library books are used by photocopying them on the Frontyard library’s risograph. No book is damaged.
Artist can make only one collage a day, resisting desire to over-create and pressure to over-produce. The size of each day’s collage can however vary (there is no limit to the scale).
If the collage is finished before the 5-hours mark, the artist is allowed and encouraged to relax (be bored even). An exercise in leisure and reclaiming the right to pause.
Each day the collage under the glass cabinet is replaced with a new one (like changing of the guards). The photo of the day’s collage (sitting in the cabinet) is taken by the artist, then printed with the time and date corresponding to the exact moment the collage is placed under the cabinet.
At the end of the residency, on the 14th day, guests are invited over for dinner and to see the final day’s collage exhibited under the cabinet + 13 photos of the past days collages exhibited in the dining area. Other kinds of happenings might occur during the final dinner if the 14 days residency inspires other ideas.
FRONTYARD RESIDENCY TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
During 14 days of the residency a video camera is stationed in the room to record the process (this camera can be moved around if and whenever the artist and / or the curator desire). The recorded video functions as the documentation of the process.
Alongside video recording there is also an audio recording (via zoom recorder) of the conversations that the curator and the artist (and maybe other people found in the space) have. They bring in the space stories of the day; perhaps they talk about these. Perhaps the audio records the comments they make as they go through the books and the objects in the library. Curator might be asking artist about his process and decisions he makes. Perhaps they talk about some philosophical concepts. Anything could be recorded. Perhaps there is a lot of silence too. Like video recordings, these audio recordings are also a document of the residency.
Once the Frontyard residency is done, the artist and the curator go back through the audio and video recordings and create:
1. A sonic collage (duration tbc)
2. A video collage (duration tbc)
The final stage of the residency is an exhibition consisting of collages, large scale installations, sound and video art, etc.
A VIDE0-SOUND INSTALLATION BY BEN FERRIS. CURATED BY IRA FERRIS FOR M2 GALLERY. SOUND DESIGN BY GEORGE-ALEX NAGLE. (August 2017)
in(di)visible questions our capacity to comprehend the present moment. What of it is (in)visible to us? And how will we talk about it in time?
in(di)visible was recorded in Paris during Ben Ferris’ 2017 Cité Internationale des Arts residency awarded by The Power Institute.
See exhibition images here
ART TALK for in(di)visible is available on our soundcloud
See Art Talk images here
Time is never still
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for M2 Gallery, Sydney.
Artist: Reena Naidu. Medium: watercolour on traditional Fijian bark cloth. (August 2017)
A PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AND A BOOK LAUNCH CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for the Head on Photo Festival at Stirrup Gallery, Sydney. Artists: Vitor Queiroz and Marta Maia. Mediums: photography, sound art, text, experimental music. (May 2017)
What is the border of our perception? How wide is the frame?
We travel in hope to learn about another culture but what we discover is a culture within our own body, the limits of our perception.
Eastern Thoughts was a multisensory installation comprised of images, sounds and words that explored the limits of our perception and our capacity to engage with and understand the ‘Other’. The exhibition reflected on Laura Marks’ idea of the “cultural organization of perception” and her thesis that spectatorship “is an act of sensory translation of cultural knowledge”. What we see is what we are conditioned to see. The eye is attracted to that which it has learned to seek.
See exhibition images here
ART TALK for Eastern Thoughts is available on our soundcloud
Eastern Thoughts with trevor brown
EXHIBITION AND MUSIC PERFORMANCE CURATED BY IRA FERRIS FOR THE ALPHA HOUSE GALLERY, SYDNEY. ARTISTS: VITOR QUEIROZ, MARTA MAIA, TREVOR BROWN. (May 2017)
A few days after showing at the Stirrup Gallery, we took Eastern Thoughts to a new venue to explore the phenomenological function of the new / other space. To make it fresh we installed the images in radically different way and have collaborated with the renowned electronic musician, Travor Brown who played the set on the Opening Night.
Eastern Thoughts book launch
Eastern Thoughts is a poetic, philosophical, and tender reflection on the phenomenon of travelling. Writer Marta Maia and photographer Vitor Queiroz traverse 1708 km through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to bring us an inward contemplation on the feelings attached to journeying, the complexity (and complicity) of tourism, the meaning of home and belonging, our attachment to memory, and more. This book will be of interest to and a consolation for all those travelers at heart who constantly seek out for an embracing place, and are always a little bit homesick.
Click here to read Ira Ferris' full review of the book.
A GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for the Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artists: Marine Coutroutsios, Haruyo Morita, Ana Lia Washinton. Mediums: conceptual drawing and zin, photography, calligraphy. (January, 2017)
Palingenesis (from Greek palin, meaning again, and genesis, meaning birth) is a concept of rebirth or re-creation, used in various contexts in philosophy, theology, politics, and biology. It signifies the readiness to cast off the old and emerge into the new.
It is through the discomfort of decay that we progress into the future. "That what is ordinarily imagined as disintegration is also, or instead, metamorphosis... Decay is a form of transformation... Part of the great rampage of becoming that is also unbecoming. It is cruel, it is death, and it is also life, degeneration and regeneration..." (Rebecca Solnit, Faraway Nearby, p79)
The artists presented in this exhibition celebrate the beauty of (and in) decay as natural and essential to life. They celebrate degeneration as regeneration.
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artist: Joanna Williams. Medium: photography and folded paper. (November 2016)
Joanna Williams works across photography, installation, projection and print to explore her interest in architectural and city space, permanency and perspective. Consistently throughout her practice is a manifestation of the fold, a process based response and experimentation with Michel de Certeau’s processes of resistance, as well as an exploration of the limits that regulate our urban spaces and provoke alternate strategies for addressing the way city spaces are constructed, regulated and negotiated.
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artist: Sophie Bray. Medium: hyperrealist drawing. (October 2016)
Sophie Bray’s hyperrealist drawings explore the physicality of water, wind and salient currents, which create the shifting tides and atmospheres over the tense and captivating point between land, sea and sky. Delicate, detailed and immersive they reflect upon the beauty and fragility of the natural environment.
Early Morning Sydney
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artist: Tim Ritchie. Medium: photography. (September 2016). HELD AS A PART OF 2017 SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL.
From light-tripping abstracts to brutal architectural angles, acute observations to stunning panoramas, Tim Ritchie’s photographs of early morning Sydney have become an unmissable feature of the daily social-media feeds for thousands of locals.
In his first solo exhibition, former Radio National Music Director and one of the original 1980s Double J crew, Ritchie presents a collection of signed, one-off original prints displaying the breadth of his styles.
Media coverage here
To coincide with Tim Ritchie’s exhibition at Folonomo Gallery, we brought celebrated Australian photographer Peter Elfes in conversation with Tim Ritchie to discuss the art of photography and its technique. The conversation was a great opportunity for photographers, whether budding or established, to meet Peter and Tim and ask questions or get advice.
Media coverage here
Patterns & Shapes
A GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artists: Kate Banazi, Millie Bartlett, Toby Fitch, Suzie Idiens. Mediums: perspex, analogue collages, pattern poetry, minimalist wall sculptures. (July 2016).
See exhibition images here
Gunjan Aylawadi & Kevina-Jo Smith
A GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artists: Gunjan Aylawadi and Kevina-Jo Smith. Mediums: paper tapestry and upcycled fibre installations. (June 2016).
See exhibition images here
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Folonomo Gallery, Sydney. Artist: Camile Softley. Mediums: hyper-real charcoal drawings and etchings. (May 2016).
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for ZGallery, Sydney. Artist: Vitor Queiroz. Medium: photography. (April 2016).
Featured here were the images taken during Vitor Queiroz’s stay in Anlung Pi, a small village in north Cambodia. A collection of black & white photographs provided a unique insight into the daily rituals of local villagers and their place within the surrounding environment, which is at once idyllic and untouched by human hand but also increasingly industrialised and contaminated. The exhibition was held as a fundraiser for Volunteer Development Children's Association (V.D.C.A.) - a grassroots organisation that provides free education to the underprivileged children of Anlung Pi village.
See exhibition photos here
Penelope 16 x 9
EXHIBITION CURATED BY IRA FERRIS for Global Gallery, Sydney. Artist: Ben Ferris, James Barahanos, Jennie Tate. Mediums: photography and costumes. (November 2008).
In celebration of the world premiere of Croatian-Australian feature film Penelope, I have curated exhibition Penelope 16 x 9, featuring 24 photographic images from the film presented alongside the film’s stunning costumes designed by leading Australian production designer Jennie Tate. The Opening Night included the live performance by French artist Gaelle Degallaix on the theme of James Joyce’s Molly Bloom, a character that influenced Ben Ferris’ take on Penelope.