Art Life , Exhibitions Dec 06, 2013 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

What a shame, Breenspace is closing, and with a dearth of medium-sized commercial contemporary art galleries in Sydney the departure of gallerist Sally Breen from the scene is going to be sorely felt. The gallery’s stable of artists was diverse with an emphasis on smart, intelligent work with accessible and engaging aesthetics. The last exhibition is Kate Murphy’s Lift, a single channel work about people suffering from dementia that continues the artist’s fascination with using video as a documentary form.

QT_December 6_Lift

Murphy’s work has focused on people close to her – children she babysat, her brothers and sisters, her mother and father in old age – always retaining a considered distance but acknowledging the highly emotional nature of her connection to her subjects. As noted Sydney writer Zwinead Roarty observes in the catalogue, “[Murphy’s] work always reveals something deeply personal, never far from memoir, but also universal. Excruciatingly beautiful and painful to watch, her installations demand that we respond with emotion, they search for affect, often conjuring a feeling of profound loss.” Given the quite power of Murphy’s work Lift will also be Lift a fitting farewell from Breenspace.

Until December 21
Breenspace, Sydney
Pic: Kate Murphy, Lift, 2013. Single-channel HD video with mono sound, 14:37 minutes

Andrew Frost

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