Out of time - exhibition invitation



Out of time features work by Michelle Heldon, Taryn Raffan and Kath Fries, from their recent residencies in Greenland, Iceland and Finland. The terrains of these Nordic countries continue to resound with narratives, mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of frozen and forested landscapes, which are also the background to and the source of most European fairytales. Out of time traces individual personal engagements with specific locations, featuring works that range from drawings and sculptures to videos, photographs and installations. Each artist’s practice resonates with storytelling traditions, exploring complex interconnections rather than didactic linear descriptions. Together they convey felt experiences and responses to the pull of the magical, inner power of the landscapes, icebergs, forests, lava fields and cultures of the far north.

Out of time reaffirms the fairytale location of timeless – set in a ‘once upon a time’ epoch, not fixed historically but rather reinterpreted constantly. The term fairytale invites an engagement with mythical realms or parallel universes; and as it opens up collective, shared and personal imaginative spaces, so that a new folklore emerges, full of the potential for encountering the magical and believing in the unknown and unexplainable. Now, on the other side of the world, the question arises – how do these experiences, artworks and narratives translate back home in Australia? Such frozen fairytales may initially seem out of place, as well as out of time, here. Yet in between these vast, isolated landscapes lies a common denominator for these artists, an innate human desire to connect to land, spirit and folklore. Bridging an age-old instinct to wander; to experience seasons and environments; and to relate their surreal findings back to the familiar, their stories are transported, blended, reconstructed and adapted into contemporary understandings of existence and open-ended imaginations.

Michelle Heldon’s videos of melting snowballs and handmade micro-icebergs conjure an embodied engagement with time and narrative traditions. In Greenland she investigated water as a changing modality to express transition, conveying echoes of Inuit Shamanic beliefs in spirits within nature and hints at a secret language for transition into other realms. michelleheldon.com
Taryn Raffan’s drawings of spirit faces similarly consider the transformations, both perceived and experienced, during her residency in Iceland. Her sculptural series also reflect how components of the self evolve when affected by the landscape; and how one can feel present within vastness yet also connected to indistinct imaginations, paralleling how fairytales and folklore deconstruct this process into a character format. tarynraffan.com
Kath Fries’ installations and photographs explore renditions of the Finish wild forest within the sheltered, protected internal spaces of buildings. These works consider the permeability of our constructed boundaries as physical walls become enchanted when fiction merges with reality. kathfries.com

Out of time
6-21 May 2016
AirSpace Projects
10 Junction St Marrickville NSW 2044
Open: Thurs-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm

Tracing Materiality - installations and discussion

Kath Fries, Irradiate, 2016, beeswax, paper, log, window and daylight

Kath Fries, Irradiate, 2016, beeswax, paper, log, window and daylight

Kath Fries, Irradiate, 2016, beeswax, paper, log, window and daylight

Kath Fries, Irradiate, 2016, and Dalliance, 2016

Kath Fries, Dalliance, 2016, beeswax, string, charcoal, paper and ceiling bolts

Kath Fries, Dalliance, 2016, beeswax, string, charcoal, paper and ceiling bolts (detail view)

Kath Fries, Dalliance, 2016, beeswax, string, charcoal, paper and ceiling bolts, 
with dog paw prints (detail view)

Kath Fries, Suffuse, 2016, beeswax, charcoal, paper and light-boxes

Kath Fries, Suffuse, 2016, beeswax, charcoal, paper and light-boxes


Kath Fries, Suffuse, 2016, beeswax, charcoal, paper and light-boxes

Kath Fries, Suffuse, 2016, beeswax, charcoal, paper and light-boxes, (detail view)

Tracing Materiality is now in its final week, finishing up next Sunday 20 March with a discussion about Expanded drawing practices at 2pm, chaired by Megan Robson, (Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia) with artists Gillian Lavery, Renuka Fernando, and myself. Followed by finissage drinks at 3pm and Gillian Lavery will begin the erasure of her wall drawing. It's been an interesting experience so far and exciting to see the works grow, evolve and change during the course of the exhibition. Renuka has been working with colourful mixed media on long two long rolls of canvas and paper, Gillian has been continuing with her spiral pencil drawings on a large piece of silk and her extended circular arm span on the wall, and I've been working with loose ephemeral charcoal powder to trace movements in the space and textures in my beeswax paper installations. I hope you can join us for these closing events at Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock St, Camperdown NSW.


'Tracing Materiality' is a project and exhibition by Sydney based artists Gillian Lavery, Renuka Fernando and Kath Fries, exploring expanded drawing practices that move beyond drawing as representation to focus on materiality and mark making. The artists’ process-based approaches are open-ended, improvisational and unfolding within the gallery over the exhibition’s duration. This allows the inner workings and fluid nature of art practice to be visible to the audience. 'Tracing Materiality' emphasises the creative process above the end result by engaging meditative but not premeditated forms, transforming the gallery into an active environment where thinking, making and play are accessible to visitors. Working throughout the gallery space, utilizing the various surfaces of the walls, floors, windows and corners, the artists’ work will develop and evolve resulting in a survey of different mark making approaches of expanded drawing and process-based practices. Project blog - tracingmateriality.blogspot.com.au