After waking from winter, the Southern Hemisphere heads towards summer in fits and starts. The sudden abundance of fresh colours and forms seems to defy the skies that still contain scudding, sullen clouds and the earth that still sports cold morning dew. The precarious energy of the season is evident in the selection of works that have been curated by Vanessa Jones for Spring.
Many of the works in Spring hint at lifeforms that inhabit the unseen parts of our world. Peter Trevelyan’s works could be the base structures of microcosmic organisms or unwieldy molecules magnified a million-fold. Their bell jars and glass cases not only serve as a protective measure, but speak to narratives of Victorian-era specimen collecting and scientific discovery.
Caroline Earley’s ceramic works suggest simple living creatures whose amorphous shapes swell and stretch out bud-like limbs. The Stasis pieces feature forms draped over and around one another in symbiotic (or parasitic?) relationships. Perfectly balanced for the present moment, the risk of instability is ever present.
The layers of extruded paint in Claudia Jowitt’s artworks capture a sense of burgeoning growth in the pastel hues of the season. The profligacy of textures come together in a cohesive whole, reminiscent of the intricacies of basket fungi or colonies of sea sponges and corals.
These could not be further from the minimal canvases of Leanne Morrison, whose abstract style explores the flatness and materiality of her artworks. Morrison manipulates the stretcher itself in Nightshade I and Nightshade II. This accentuates the weight and impetus of the painted bands to the point where they seem to have pushed the frames out of square.
A similar taut energy is evident in Ben Pearce’s faceted sculptures of corten steel. The poised towers of elemental, geometric forms produce a tension-filled stasis. The myth-inspired titles suggest that there are otherworldly powers at play in their creation.
Mythic elements have always been integral to Andy Leleisi’uao’s practice. His painted communities are peopled with unearthly beings and replete with symbolic objects. As the creatures purposefully go about their lives, their in-between spaces seem boundless.
In contrast to Leleisi’uao’s expansive worlds, Harry Watson’s miniatures focus tightly on their subjects. Their naive illustration and carved wood decoration suggests secular icons or amulets that bring fortune or protection. The intimate scale of the works requires intimate interaction from the viewer - and being close and personal with Hope is surely a fitting Spring pastime.