Lovers: Theory & Practice

Project Contemporary Artspace
Wollongong, Australia
13 October - 24 October 2010

Music performance by Ampersand (Kieren Brereton, Jesse Radloff, Kurt Brereton)

Artist Statement

This series titled Lovers: Theory & Practice tugs at old Modernist heartstrings. The work nostalgically references some of my favourite artists from that often overlooked deadzone period between WWI and WWII. The 1930s depression era resonates with familiar recession-torn events, collapsing fault lines and wake up calls, that now circumscribe our eco-apocalyptic calculations today. Artists such as Hans Arp, Rodchenko, Kobro, Tutundjian, Strzeminski, Nicholson, Stepanova and Delaunay all grappled with utopian ideals of what a post-industrial modern society and culture could be after the terrors of WWI.

The legacy of those radical and often frustrated Constructivist/Dada flappers was picked up and remotivated in the late 1950s and early 60's. Minimalist Beat-Gen artists such as Judd, Andre, Morris, Ryman and Martin reacted against a new cold war of exploding plastic consumption patterns and immanent atomic endgames by constructing calming visions that offered a contemplative post atomic–Zen sanctuary for frazzled minds.

This installation has been constructed as an archeological dig of fragments with allusions to those bygone dreams. A world that seems naively optimistic today in the face of what we now see as the innocent beginnings of unraveling environmental and global dystopias.
The lost evidence here is a series of visual displacements in time: – seductive in their cool attention to surface detail; sensually hot colour nuances against half forgotten overdubbed recordings.

These paintings are aesthetic product samples – chronographic maps – that have all the dramatic promise of dream works sketched on the analyst's couch. I recognise flotsam & jetsam-like bits of these works from my past, yet the work can only belong to here & now.

The lovers are entwined in theory & practice – the ampersand is a bond – two loops and a kiss – teased undone or drawn even tighter – all those loose ends tied off & new beginnings leading into a knotted mass of woven possibilities.


Lovers:Theory & Practice Part 1, oil on canvas,
122cm x 183cm, 2010
(framed in aluminium)




Lovers:Theory & Practice Part 2
DVD animation - 6 mins loop



Lovers:Theory & Practice Part 3, mixed media, 122cm x 183cm, 2010

Lovers:Theory & Practice Part 2 (extract)
DVD animation - 6 mins loop


Lovers No1, oil on pyjama cloth, 36 x 47cm, 2010 sold


Lovers No2, oil on canvas, 18 x 21cm, 2010sold

Lovers No3, oil on canvas, 47 x 47cm, 2010sold

Lovers No4, oil on canvas, 41 x 51cm, 2010
(framed in aluminium)

Lovers No5 oil on canvas 41 x 51cm, 2010
(framed in aluminium)

Lovers No6, oil on canvas, 28 x 37cm, 2010 sold

Lovers No7, oil pastel on tracing paper, 49 x 49cm, 2010

Lovers No8, oil on canvas, 37 x 48cm,2010

Lovers No9, oil on canvas, 29x33cm,2010 sold

Lovers No10 oil on lino, 13 x 16cm, 2010
(framed in aluminium)

Lovers No11, oil on canvas, 26 x 36cm, 2010