A lazy Saturday afternoon lead me to Fitzroy’s Sutton Gallery. Gallery hopping is one of my favourite solo activities, wandering through galleries to view the exhibitions without any knowledge of who the artist is or what’s on.
Catherine Bell’s The Remains of the Day and Helga Grove’s Suspended Animation were closing that day – fortunate timing for me! Not for you, so apologies. You’ll have to do some googling.
Out of the two I found Groves’ work the most meditative and absorbing while Bell’s was far quirkier. Both exhibitions were based around geography with each artist using unique techniques to represent their landscapes. Groves’ basing her work on Artic map lichen growing on granite rocks that appeared as topographical images while Bell sculpted her landscapes out of florist’s foam.
Helga Groves Suspended Animation
“Groves’ polygon shaped paintings on wood are a tribute to the shaped canvases as hybrids of painting and sculpture that grew out of 1960s abstraction. Through turning the congruent shapes on their axis, cyclic rotation suggests movement. These shifts are also marked through the repetition of the hand-drawn mark in layers as an infinite reversioning of nature’s primal template. In these and other works presented in Suspended Animation, Groves reflects on the significance of the ancient and adaptive forms of plant life that have survived in the most rugged and hostile of terrains familiar to her. Used by climatologists to ascertain the age of rock and glacial deposits, they provide further resonant ground for her ongoing investigation into topographical form.” Sutton Gallery
Catherine Bell The Remains of the Day
” For The Remains of the Day, Bell presents a series of sculptural carvings that take the form of mountains to create a landscape of mourning. Carved from green florist’s Oasis foam, the sculptures recall the function of their material, which prolongs the life of flowers, a motif commonly associated with the fragility of life. Inherently scarred with the physical traces of its occupation, Bell repurposes the material to reincarnate it with new life whilst preserving its history. Accompanying the sculptural carvings is a series of prints, which inherit their imagery from both the top and bottom surfaces of the sculptures. Displayed in pairs to frame the mountain sculptures, the prints act as a record and imbue a sense of memorial, echoing the rituals of remembrance when faced with the impermanence of life.” Sutton Gallery
Suspended Animation & Remains of the Day
254 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy