Three great shows at The Hughes Gallery, 270 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, Sydney. 2nd November – 30th November 2013
Tim Kyle, ‘Brothers in Arms’, all figurative sculptures using epoxy resin and mixed media
Tim Kyle’s boisterous figurative sculptures are well known and received. He won the 2003 Wynne Prize and his larger than life seated and standing men are recognisable from their outings at Sculpture by the Sea. Kyle is a keen observer of human behaviour. He has endowed his figures with unique expressions that create a real sense of character and personality. As the artist states, “I learnt of the Flaneur in art history and I suppose that’s what these pieces are the product of – observations and evaluations of human behaviour…The subject remains the same, forlorn introspection dosed with a wanton need for clarity from perplexity.”Kyle’s works are all very tactile, you can trace the hand of the artist through the forms created by his fingers in the clay, which is then cast in epoxy resin, forming the “rugged and unapologetic” pieces for which he is known. Drawing is also important to Kyle, who sketches his compositions before sculpting them. The works in ‘Brothers in Arms’ are “new essays on figuration that are directions once held in sketchbooks but never before realised in form.” Other works in this show are crafted out of acid free paper pulp, which the artist enjoys for its “expressive nobility and physical strength,” characteristics that can also be used to describe his body of work in general.
‘Gumption’, mixed media, 57 x 40 x 25 cm
“Nigel’, mixed media, 69 x 30 x 17 cm
‘Damo’, epoxy resin, 75 x 29 x 22 cm, and ‘Poirot’, mixed media, 45 x 24 x 14 cm
At the same time, Pru Morrison, ‘A nod is as good as a wink’, all ceramics, porcelain, terrasigillata, underglaze pencil and glaze
Brisbane based ceramisist Pru Morrison uses her finely crafted porcelain pieces to comment on everyday life in Australia. Drawing from a variety of sources, from politics to art history, the works are as topical as they are beautiful. For Morrison, “The most enjoyable part of my arts practice is creating an open story. I spend a lot of time in parks and on street benches watching and noting small mannerisms and everyday colloquialisms of people as they pass by. I record these sketches in a small notebook to use as a starting point when I return to the studio. Ideas often overlap with observations on current affairs, the arts and the poetry of politics…as I see it.” These drawings form only one part of Morrison’s practice, as they are scratched onto vessels which Morrison constructs using a variety of molds and hand building techniques. Once assembled, these forms resemble utilitarian objects like teapots or vases, but with a twist. The handle of the pot may be in the shape of a horse’s head or the vase resting on four sets legs, for example. To get their unique, finely coloured and textured effect, the surface is then layered with a fine slip called terrasigillata that is mixed with body stains to produce the colours. After this Morrison scratches through the different layers of colour to build the drawing, and adds black underglaze pencil that is fired onto the porcelain surface.
‘The Song of Waste’, 21 x 20 x 6 cm, and ‘Hose for hire’, 15 x 19 x 5 cm
‘Bowls, Porcelain’, 18 x 12 x 7 cm, and ‘Sheesh’, 21 x 11 x 8 cm
Also a mixed show, ‘Life’s a beach‘ in the main gallery. Works included Jason Phu, Nick Collerson, Michael Bell, Peter Powditch, Lucy Culliton, and Cameron Haas to name a few. As well as Joe Furlonger, whose work I have admired in the gallery for a long time. Bellow are details from one of his earlier Circus series paintings, which is in the entrance foyer.