17 MAY – 2 JUN.2018
Kohl Tyler-Dunshea, Gabi Lardies, Zainab Hikmet
For images of works available, please contact the gallery directly by clicking here.
collect.document.archive is an exhibition of three artists; Kohl Tyler-Dunshea, Gabi Lardies, and Zainab Hikmet, who share an interest in natural found materials within their purlieus. Independently, and over several years, the three artists have built their practices around these materials, imbuing meaning in their work which is considerably similar. In an imbricating fashion, the exhibition considers our environment, and human interaction with our natural world through sand, bronze, native seeds and a variety of flora.
Tyler-Dunshea works across mediums, including installation and photography, however is perhaps most known and recognised for her meticulous, watercolour works on paper. For collect.document.archive, Tyler-Dunshea shows three works; two environs (works depicting flora found within her surrounding area) as well as a work titled 7 headed calendula. 7 headed calendula was found on a rooftop garden off K’rd and can be used to elucidate Tyler-Dunshea’s practice. The flower had mutated and sprouting from the centre of the original head were six smaller heads. Tyler-Dunshea snipped the stalk, and as per her process, pressed the specimen flat, before painting it. Tyler-Dunshea incessantly examines her local biosphere, noticing peculiarities, and identifying what is unknown to her. As discussed by Lee-Duncan in their review of one of Tyler-Dunshea’s previous exhibitions, the works “…are devoid of backgrounds, which at once focuses one’s attention solely on the details of each plant but displaces them from a spatial context” (Lee-Duncan, 2017). Tyler-Dunshea, similarly to Lardies and Hikmet, elevates our natural world through the process of identifying and eliminating superfluous detail.
Lardies’ contribution to collect.document.archive spans two mediums; photography and bronze casting. Four photographic works (with loops carefully stitched to the reverse for hanging) depict magnified, microscopic images of petals, a leaf and a spider’s web, printed upon a diaphanous crepe fabric. Revealing the abstract intricacies of our natural world, Lardies’ brings attention to the beauty of commonplace phenomenon on a considerable scale (1500mm x 1500mm).
The second component of Lardies’ work are eight cast bronze objects, which sit amongst/cup native seeds. Cast using the lost wax method, these tactile works pay an oblique reference to antique microscopes and navigational instruments. On closer inspection, the works are also stamped with lettering, spelling out lines of poetry such as “To see darkness, to look at the sun” or “I have inherited my mother’s journey”, perhaps a reference to a geographical reconnaissance but also to story and memory. Dappled with marks, evidencing the handmade process, the works suggest an intimate relationship with people, place and time.
Hikmet is Melbourne based however is originally from Aotearoa. For collect.document.archive, Hikmet delivered two works; Half Moon Bay – Melbourne Glass and Half Moon Bay – Auckland Glass. Made using raw beach sand from either side of the Tasman Sea, Hikmet worked on these sculptural pieces for over a year, refining the recipe to transform the sand into glass. The cubes themselves vary significantly in hue. The darker cube is made from sand collected from Half Moon Bay in Melbourne and is similar in colour to pounamu. Inside the cube is a fine web like structure, which mimics the refracting light you may see when looking into a body of water. The other cube, made from sand collected on Auckland’s shore is much lighter, flecked throughout with off-white quartz particles, suspended in the glass. Aside from the intrigue Hikmet instils through her process, the objects carry meaning surrounding the transitory nature of contemporary life, globalism, and the ability of art/artists to collapse space between two places.
Tyler-Dunshea, Lardies and Hikmet invest time learning the intimacies of their localities through observation and interaction. This is suggestive of a slower pace but also of a desire to connect and know their space, as they are impermanent and so is it. collect.document.archive encourages the viewer to slow their pace, to notice the detail, to learn their environment, and to build connections.
Lee-Duncan, E. (2017). Co-existance: Harry McAlpine and Kohl Tyler-Dunshea.