From Stella Rosa McDonald…
For Paul Williams, time is finite. In his new series One day, Painter, you will die Williams associates childhood sleep with the specter of death as an adult. Painting on a bed sheet from his childhood that later became a drop sheet in his studio led Williams to make a series of sheet paintings and ceramics in which he reflects on the impermanence of animate and inanimate things. Those familiar with his work will be able to read it like a book; common motifs like cars, palm trees and skulls act as a biographical key, while the new surface for his paintings offer an insight into the bonds of creative work and life. Williams’ works are part of Four Solos at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, four solo exhibitions of new work by early-career artists who have grown up or live in Southern Sydney. As peers, each artist is distinguished by their unique approach to materials and allied by the way in which they treat ‘time’.
Leahlani Johnson experiences time in parallel. The certainty of this details Johnson’s lived experience in Paris and Sydney; time is checked and arrested in moving images, the collected petals of paper daisies, painting and sculpture. Marc Etherington’s hand-carved, wooden paintings have a naïve sensibility that belies his greater skill as a portraitist. After painting Del Kathryn Barton for the Archibald, he was gifted canvas by the artist, which led to Etherington making unprecedented large-scale paintings. For his series Little Dramas—which dramatise domestic interiors, infused with humour and popular culture references— Etherington treats time serially, using nostalgia as a tool to record his daily life as a father and artist. For Michelle Cawthorn the present is dependent on the past. In Bittersweet, Cawthorn’s finely wrought drawings deal with the death of her mother. Complex and deeply personal, the works in Bittersweet ultimately lead audiences on their own path through the annals of time.
Until 6 December
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea
Pic: Leahlani Johnson, Passing Parades (phase III) 2013 – 2015, Paper Daisy petals. Courtesy the artist and Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre.