MoCU’s ‘HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS’ EXHIBITION REVIEW
Studio Neon in Sydney’s Redfern hosted MoCU’s first exhibition, ‘Happy When it Rains’, which featured seven exceptional Australian artists bringing their original and highly distinctive interpretations of the show’s theme to their works. Curated by Sebastian Goldspink, the exhibition ran from 29 March through to April 1, coinciding with Art Month Sydney 2017, which MoCU was an official sponsor of.
As visitors ascended the stairs to reach the exhibition space, colourful neon lights brought MoCU to life with a glowing table holding fluorescent glasses and bottles that could be picked up and played with. Moving into the exhibition space, the dramatically lit room provided the perfect showcase for the works, which explored the unique production processes utilised by each artist, and the idea of uncommon pairings, such as brewing and winemaking to art.
As Goldspink explained ahead of the show:
Brewing and winemaking are as much an art as the literal sense and it’s a wonderful fusion we wanted to celebrate through a gallery of works that encourage further discovery and exploration of unique methods of creation.
Upon arrival, guests were able to choose from the finely crafted Japanese beers Kirin Dip Hop IPL or Spring Valley Jazzberry to sip and savour, and indulge in exquisite canapes as they made their way around the space to take in the diverse artworks on display.
Sebastian was on hand to shed light on the process behind each work, explain their deeper meanings, and provide context for how the work sat within the artist’s broader practice.
LAUREN WEBSTER - PERFORMANCE
For those lucky enough to attend the exhibition within the first two days, Lauren came in and created a loose work by painting directly on the wall, tapping into her voracious appetite for the application of paint to surfaces. She started with no fixed idea of the outcome but rather a willingness to respond to the environment and follow her instincts.
BRIDIE CONNELL - Chorus Line
With a practice that works in expanded video and installation, Bridie’s work was a compilation of a series of portraits of her friends involved in Sydney’s dynamic go-go performance scene. The work directly referenced social media and platforms like Boomerang, as well as exploring feminine self-portraiture, in a gorgeously rendered piece.
KATE SCARDIFIELD – Base Matter
Kate works across a wide variety of mediums, but for this exhibition provided a video of a performer shrouded in a cloak embellished with hand-cut gold pieces. At first glance the work appears to be digital, but upon closer inspection the movements of the performer can only be interpreted as human. The video is reflected in black Perspex, creating the mesmerising effect of a bottomless void below.
JASON WING – Fossil Fuel
Jason draws on his Chinese, Aboriginal and Scottish heritage to make poetic works that subtly investigate political themes, and for this exhibition created a midden of hand cast shells shrouded in the warm glow of an antique naval pendant lamp. This simple yet affecting work examines the consequences of mining and colonisation on the natural environment.
JASPER KNIGHT – 4
Jasper’s work is simply titled ‘4’ and picks up on a key element of his practice, which is the use of tiled backgrounds to create works that reference the built environment. This particular work, with its bold colours and intersecting lines, looks in detail at a section of scaffolding at the base of a roller coaster at Sydney’s Luna Park.
DANIEL HOLLIER – Red Bird, Blue Bird, Red Bird, Blue Bird
The first work that visitors saw upon entering the exhibition space is described by Daniel as a painting. It is a vintage Redline BMX frame with safety guard that he has painted in a gradient that changes as a motor drives the frame around and around in a circular motion. The somewhat hypnotic work is a direct reference to Duchamp’s ready-made ‘Bicycle Wheel’.
SAMUEL HODGE – Hatefully Immaculate
For several years, artist Samuel Hodge has been collecting found slides from flea markets and thrift stores in New York, looking for old family photos from around the time of the moon landing. For this exhibition he juxtaposed these images together, from multiple collections, to investigate the idea that if two separate memories are melded together, does it create a new memory that never really existed? This method of creation resulted in a work that is beautifully haunting and melancholic.
‘Happy When it Rains’ offered a thought-provoking and visually arresting experience for visitors over the six days of the exhibition, and was a memorable exploration of creation. Thank you to those who attended, and to MoCU curator Sebastian Goldspink and the seven artists who powerfully brought to life the theme of the exhibition.
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