AboutJames and Eleanor Avery's collaborations are generally site specific and in their many forms explore notions of days out, armchair tourism and cult ideology, mixed up with a science fiction aesthetic. Their works are ambitious in scale and often indicate an underlying system of meaning. Their works are embedded with historical references and political observation and frequently suggest a social space for audience participation.
The Fox and Hounds is a site of disparate iconographic objects and imagery which reference contested spaces and indoctrinated belief systems. The Averys' present a monolithic sculpture set beside a series of doubled and repeated wall sculptures and video frames. It's an oppositional space where the hunter hunts and the hunted is hunted.
The show centres around an isolated and truncated hand, a distorted symbol of faith or an indication of fallen power. A pair of identical sculptures are twinned on the wall as âeyes'. Based on the floor plans of abandoned buildings which have problematic histories, ironically, they can be read as animal-like in form. A pulsing two frame looped video work refers to the persecutor and the persecuted. It's an irreverent rendering of an ideological construct. An exit sign lights the way out.
James and Eleanor Avery combine industrial processes with raw CAD drafting countered with handmade elements to realise their works. They work across a variety of media and often implement strategies of technological experimentation and amateur physics.
James and Eleanor Avery work both individually and collaboratively, and have been collaborating on large scale sculpture and installation projects since 2004. Both artists were born in England and are currently based between London, England and Brisbane, Australia. James has a first class BA honours degree in Fine Art and an MA from the University of Warwick, UK (1993). Eleanor has a first class BA honours degree and an MA in Fine Art from the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK (2000).
The Averys have held solo exhibitions at Studio Trisorio, Rome; Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane; Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne; Grantpirrie, Sydney; Sherman Galleries Artbox, Sydney; Metro Arts, Brisbane; Artspace, Sydney; and Spike Island, Bristol, UK. They have had work included in curated group exhibitions at MOP, Sydney; Accademia di Romania, Rome; and The British School at Rome. Art fairs include ARCO, Madrid; Artefiera, Bologna; the Melbourne Art Fair, Australia.
Studio residencies include the University of Sydney Power Institute studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 2011; the Australia Council Visual Arts Board studio at The British School at Rome, 2008; Artspace, Sydney, 2007; Spike Island, Bristol, UK, 2005.
SCHWARTZ GALLERY PROJECT SPACE
Private View: Wednesday 7th September 2011, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Exhibition dates: 8th September - 1st October 2011
Opening times: Thursday - Saturday 12 - 6 p.m
For his first solo exhibition Patrick Michalopoulos presents Chamber at Schwartz Gallery Project Space.
Michalopoulos uses reconfigured retro and replica furniture to craft nostalgic âfurniture-plinths' that are somewhat paradoxically dressed in chip-board. Reminiscent of packing cases or of boarded-up properties the chip-board acts as a counter-point to the intimacy of the furnishings normally found within or behind it. Integrated into singular structures these inverted âhome-gallery furnishings' are used to support arrangements of reclaimed cardboard boxes in a continuation of the artist's interest in an ambiguous materiality. Wrapped in glossy white paper the boxes continue the inter-play between ideas of packing and un-packing, states of permanence and impermanence and of simultaneously being inside and outside.
A series of âpaint-drawings' are fixed at different points to these underlying structures causing surfaces to âstop-and-start' inducing a staggered reading of the pieces by the viewer. Michalopoulos has created a new series of paint-drawings specifically for Chamber. Working on torn-out pages from discarded tomes on the âgreats' of 20th century sculpture the selected images are partially obscured by painted viewing devicesàÂ or 'over-layers' that suggest a kind of censorship is being enforced, an opposition being set-upàÂ between private and public modes ofàÂ viewing.
The books were kept by the artist having been withdrawn from the shelves of an unnamed library. Rendered obsoleteàÂ by the institutionàÂ in which they were originally kept,àÂ the narratives the artists and their livesàÂ were cast in within these books are revisited.àÂ Disentagled from their bound form, their materiality as images on a page and their re-use as surfaces to be manipulatedàÂ allow for their redeployment into Michalopoulos'àÂ 'home-gallery furnishings'. The idea of a 'history of art' is approached from the perspective of a 'history of images'. The images alteredàÂ by the artistàÂ allude toàÂ an anti-narrative that sits alongside the inverted relationships triggered between materials in the main supporting structure of each 'Accompaniment'. _______________________________________________
Patrick Michalopoulos completed a B.A in sculpture at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London in 2002. Recent group shows include A-L-L-O-T-M-E-N-T-S 2011, Unobtrusive Measures (2011), Patrick Michalopoulos and Ismail Erbil (Schwartz Gallery Project Space), A-L-L-O-T-M-E-N-T-S (2010), and Wonder Island (2009) at Schwartz Gallery, and Across the Grain at Forty Hall, London (2008). His work has been shown at the Powerhouse, Soapbox Gallery and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, all in Brisbane, Australia(2004). In addition to his studio practice, Patrick is also the co-founder, director and artist-curator of Schwartz Gallery in London.