Garden of Earthly Delights

Art Life , Exhibitions Nov 09, 2012 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

Where time was once measured in a unit called “shopping days” [used to work out the number of days left before Christmas] now we just have ‘days’ because shops are open every day. Well, not all shops, because commercial art galleries close down over the holiday season, but just days – endless days… So how do we mark this inexorable march of time towards our collective fate? Commercial galleries stage group shows, some of which are thematically organised while others are more casual, being a collection of work by gallery artists, often in bright an airy configurations to help take our minds off things.

In an unusual combination of both light and airy Stills Gallery’s own end of season show is Garden of Earthly Delights, an exhibition that combines traditional photographic practices with contemporary documentary work, most by gallery artists, but with a few ring-ins from other galleries. The curatorial vibe is relaxed – but weird – a kind of Aussie magic realism captured in the full blaze of summer.

Among the ring-ins is Gilbert Bel-Achir, whose shots of people in Sydney’s streets glimpsed through a bus window gives the world a fragmented look that compliments Trent Parke’s reportage and Narelle Autio’s theatrical beach scenes. Gary Trinh’s Untitled 1 [2008] captures the sunny insanity of the suburbs – a blow up man throwing himself off a cherry picker. Also included are works by Polixeni Papapetrou, Danielle Thompson, Ian Dodd, Ben Cauchi, Anne Noble and Mark Kimber.

November 14 until December 22
Stills Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Garry Trinh, Untitled 1, 2008. Courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery.

Andrew Frost

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