From Sharne Wolff…
With a title like this, you may ask yourself what you’re getting into when you head to see the Clare Milledge’s new show at The Commercial. In fact, after entering this cosmological ‘ritualised environment’ you may still be wondering. Milledge has painted walls, draped the entrance and completely transformed the Gallery into a disorienting confusion of inside and outside. She’s also created a large installation that includes painted glass-topped Danish coffee tables and a reflective teak wardrobe door, together with a number of framed paintings all completed in the tradition of ‘hinterglasmalerei’ (or ‘reverse glass painting’).
The technique, which the artist has used in her practice for some time now, involves creating a work on a piece of glass and then flipping the glass to reveal the picture. Sounds simple – but text works, for example, must be painted with words in reverse order to make them readable. Several feature in this show where Milledge combines her raw naïve-style script with more complex ideas that ask us to consider salient social questions. Are human rights to be given higher priority than ‘Gnat Rights’ or ‘Loon Rights’?
Most of the other painted works convey more abstract ideas. The use of glass and reflective surface in this show is consistent with Milledge’s self-referential style. When combined with the sense of ritual and architectural décor that lends a sense of mystery, it’s clear that Milledge wants her show to be a true experience.
Until April 13
The Commercial, Redfern.
Pic: Clare Milledge, Plane People Flag, 2012-2013. Oil on tempered glass, hessian, frame, 60.50 x 110.75 x 6.00cm. Image courtesy the artist and The Commercial Gallery. [Photo: Jessica Maurer]