From Carrie Miller…
In A Place of Sense, Nicole Foreshew and Darren Bell, two Aboriginal artists local to the Blacktown area where the exhibition is on display, use contemporary media to meditate on the timeless themes of identity and place. At first glance, the works look very different – Bell’s photographic series almost mundane in its documentary style in contrast to Foreshew’s video piece that is highly lyrical and atmospheric.
Darren Bell, Since… Always. Digital Print. 2012.
But Bell’s work turns out to be a series of poetic observations on masculine identity. A sequence of pictures taken in the backyard of a relative’s house, these images record the simple act of mateship between blokes and the simultaneous sense of psychological and emotional isolation that burdens traditional masculinity.
Foreshaw’s video work, on the other hand, which features women enigmatically wrapping themselves in a cloth dyed from bark and leaves the artist found in local gutters and drains, has a sense of fragility on its surface but ultimately communicates the strength of women who endure the pain of cultural displacement.
The themes of identity and place are so well-worn in contemporary art that they have generally worn-out their welcome, but in this exhibition they are dealt with in honest and refreshing ways.
Until July 7
Blacktown Arts Centre, Blacktown
Pic: Courtesy the artist & Blacktown Arts Centre