Curation

Scientia Group Exhibition | 2-31 March 2015

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In conjunction with Art Month Sydney and LOST (Leichhardt Open Studio Trail), Art Est. Gallery is pleased to present Scientia.

This group exhibition features artists whose work is informed by one or more of 'the Sciences'.

James Blackwell | Claude Jones | Laura Jade Hindes | Rachael McCallum | Nicola Moss | Meaghan Potter | Jane Theau
Curated by Lisa Woolfe

Coinciding with the Leichardt Open Studio Trail on 14 and 15 March 2015.

Exhibition dates: 2-31 March 2015

Exhibition essay Lisa Woolfe

Art and science have sat hand in hand for centuries. Renaissance artists looked to the medical sciences to understand human anatomy (even attending autopsies!), botanists have long drawn detailed studies of plant life to understand ecological systems. More recently, Universities have supported formal collaborations between the visual arts and science faculties, resulting in new knowledge and ideas beneficial to both fields.

Scientia presents 7 artists whose work touches on one or more of the sciences.

James Blackwell and Nicola Moss look to the natural world and our interaction with it in different ways. James highlights our lost connection to the natural world. In a time where our interactions with the world are mediated by digital devices James’ works bring us back to Earth (literally). Comprised of natural materials gathered from the bushwalks together with paper, James plays with symmetry to create his mediative pieces. His delicate assemblages employ the grid structure and create a new 'system' for viewing and considering the elements of nature.

In contrast, Nicola Moss’ work considers the impact of our lifestyle on ecological systems: the balance between our dependence on the environment and our desire to dominate. Her research takes her into conservation parks for long immersion at a specific site where she creates work that celebrate the uniqueness of flora and habitat.
The natural sciences also informs Laura Jade Hindes “White Parazoa” series. In a nod to biologist Ernst Haeckel’s detailed studies of micro and macro organisms in his seminal work “Art Forms in Nature”. Laura’s delicate paper and wax pieces focus on sea creatures and the array of symmetrical and geometrical patterns found in living organisms.

A concern with our interactions with the animals is at the heart of Claude Jones’ work. Considering themes of themes of biotechnology, human intervention and genetic mutation, Claude creates detailed drawings collage and sculpture to create her ‘hybrid creatures’ that are mix of biology and fantasia. Claude’s engaging, curious creatures belie their acerbic undertones.

Meaghan Potter refers to animal evolution as well as the human brain in her abstracted paintings and mixed media pieces. Meaghan’s works considers the complex biological evolution within animal patterning as well as the “pareidolia” effect in the human brain; that is the phenomenon of seeing a familiar image within an environment where it does not exist (think: the man in the moon!).

Neurology is also a constant in Jane Theau’s work. Having previously worked in neurobiology research, this rapidly changing branch of science continues to inspire her art practise. Jane works across a variety of media including printmaking, sculpture and thread works. The works in Scientia consider the neurons and brain function required for ‘memory’.

We often equate science with order. Rachael McCallum throws order out with her chaotic ceramic experiments that challenge gravity, consider action/reaction order/control, creates chemical reactions between paint and ceramic glazes while nudging the traditional accepted boundaries of ceramics.