exhibitions    all matter has a past, Verge Gallery,Sydney

04.08.17 to 26.08.17

all matter has a past


Penny Coss (Perth)
Sean O’Connell (Sydney)
Clare Peake (Broome)

Curated by Consuelo Cavaniglia (Sydney)

all matter has a past is an exhibition that centres on the idea of encounters – between a person and a site, an idea and a form, a material and a force. The artists in this exhibition share an interest in the idea of transference and exchange. In their work, encounters between forces or entities are either orchestrated or observed and within them the artists find connections to place, personal histories, and to formal enquiries of material and form.

From across the country, across professional generations and disciplines, the work of the three artists is brought together in a first time encounter to stimulate a conversation and to find conceptual and aesthetic connections. In the gallery the work takes form as sculpture, installation, painting and moving image, and the exhibition looks to use the movable gallery walls to re-format the space for the work to come together as a fluid exchange.

The encounters that the exhibition focuses on are explored differently in the work of the three artists, but for each the engagement with matter is central.

 In Penny’s work we find matter in the landscapes that she engages with, in the bodies that come into contact with these landscapes, and in the materials that she uses in her work. In each instance what we are made aware of is fluidity. This speaks of the make-up of our bodies as much as the traces that are left behind by encounters: from the oils of our skin that leave a mark on what we touch, to the shadowy nature of memories that change us with each encounter.

Walking connects us to the ground. ‘To be grounded’ is to be centred and balanced. Yet to fall over  is rarely considered when walking. A stumble is corrected with a tacit prayer and the role of gravity. In traversing the terrain all of the body is in extended motion, including feet, toes, legs, hands, fingers, arms , torso of which touches grabs and scrapes against towering rock outcrops and cutaways, tree trunks, branches, twigs , tall grasses, gravel, soil, mud etc. The chance of falling is ever-present whilst navigating the planes or camber of a dirt track. Traces of the temporal nature of walking is evidenced by scratches and bruises or blisters left on the body . These are indexical marks .

Like walking , painting is an accumulation of marking and storing time. Its the transposing of sensation to form.

Verge Gallery Photo credit Document Photography by Penny Coss
all matter has a past by Penny Coss
all matter has a past by Penny Coss
install view by Penny Coss
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