From Sharne Wolff…
Rosemary Laing is one of Australia’s most respected artists. Describing herself as a ‘photo based artist’, Laing’s output isn’t easy to pigeonhole despite the emergence of common themes of landscape, environment, identity and the body. This new exhibition surveys a selection of Laing’s images produced after 2003 together with the recently commissioned effort and rush. More than thirty works are featured in the show.
The Australian desert forms a backdrop for a large number of images. The cinematic one dozen unnatural disasters in the Australian landscape #2 (2003) depicts a burning stripped-down car in an arid landscape. Like those works from the brumby mound and burning Ayer series’ also shot in desert environs, all were made just over a decade after the historic Mabo Case decided that the Australian continent was not terra nullius [or land belonging to no one] at the time of British settlement. Laing’s disrupted landscapes explore various notions around a sense of place and belonging for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous occupants of the land.
Seven images from the series a dozen useless actions for grieving blondes made in 2009 skilfully traverse numerous themes as the individual grief of each female subject is privately played out for public consumption. Displayed for the first time, the new series effort + rush continues Laing’s deep involvement with landscape but extends “beyond Australian shores to Indonesia and Madagascar, and introduces a sweeping painterly dynamic through her camera in motion.”
Until October 15
National Art School, Darlinghurst
Pic: Rosemary Laing a dozen useless actions for grieving blondes #7 2009, type C photograph, 77 x 133 cm, edition 7/8. Image courtesy Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne. © the artist.