Visual Arts


embody-meant Di BarrettFlinders University City Gallery, State Library of South Australia, North Terrace
4 September – 17 October 2010
Gallery hours: Tue-Fri 11-4, Sat-Sun 12-4
Featuring: Di Barrett, Robert Boynes, Greg Donovan, Denise Ferris, Peter Fitzpatrick, Andrew Hill, Mark Kimber, Jason O’Brien, Toby Richardson, Olga Sankey, Annie Trevillian. (From the media release) embody-meant is a collaborative exhibition between Adelaide and Canberra-based artists from the University of South Australia, School of Art Architecture and Design, Digital Art Research Experiment (DARE) and the Australian National University (ANU) School of Art that investigates how notions of self are constructed physically and psychologically and how such perceptions are being recast and presented through digital processes.

Beyond the beautifully presented and skilful works, the exhibition embody-meant portrays a collective spirituality, which manifests through the body and transcends in momentous moments and is at one with the environment. The exhibition speaks of memory, rituals, the tangible, and of the human spirit, which propels one to survival. This exhibition is a contemporary insight into the digital age with the very essence of tradition and humanity.

Mark Kimber’s All that Glisters, 1, 3, 9, 10, Pegasus, is symbolic of the feats of the spirit which embody a sense of place. The crystals that he uses to encase the experience, serve as icons, a vehicle for memory and hope for our personal aspirations. Di Barrett’s I do the work you bring the meaning #1 searches through her prolific technical design representing innocent faith and ritual in prayer culminating in the symbolic central image of a fanned heart inscribed with design, contained yet liberated. I do the work you bring the meaning #2 is rich in symbolism of abundance, with purple grapes, oats and leaves overflowing from a chalice, a reminder of a ‘shared meal’ and a ‘ritual’ which empowers the body, ‘embody-meant’ to a level of connectivity and spirituality which talks of equality, respect and humanity.

Andrew Hill’s empassionnement, uses traditional method of painting and layering it with today’s technology, expressing a passion, and connection. He has six spherical canvases reaching across and beyond the large work, with distinctive colours, as from the spirit, to matter, and back to the spirit. Olga Sankey’s Trill, delves into life and existence using, in one image, a multi-faceted object travelling in space, transformed by colour and light, and the ‘embody-meant’ of lung and arteries. This becomes a harmonic entity, creating a symphony with each playing its part, a construction of how we assemble our existence in our universe. Toby Richardson’s From the series of Portrait of the artist, is a representation of shelter, comfort, rest and all that is human. The abstract quality of the presentation, as so, of the title, personalises these works as an extension of the person.

Perhaps the two artists who differ from the others in the exhibition are Greg Donovan, no messages and Peter Fitzpatrick, From the series Riparian Zone/Luziny which seem to deal with ‘erasure’ or the ‘crumbling’ of mass culture, rather than a celebration, but of ‘fast forward’ ‘deleting’ and the sadness of destruction.

Embody-meant has an informative catalogue, with an essay by Dr. Martyn Jolly, Head, Photography and Media Arts, School of Art, ANU.

Reviewed by Gina De Pieri Salvi, Visual Art Critic, Glam Adelaide.

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