FOUND and MADE. ARTISTS
Michael Bennett is a self-taught artist whose work and practice both focus on the idea of acknowledging the present moment, as well as concepts of inner exploration and personal perception.
Working predominantly in the field of painting, as well as sculpture and installation, Bennett creates very true and honest works which contain a definite sense of humanity and personality. These visual insights / moments stem from deep seeded memories and visual references, with a particular focus on the sense of stillness and inner focus experienced during the creative process. Regardless of the form they take, the works are free of prejudice or bias and are open to individual interpretation. Designed specifically to be experienced and stimulate, rather than simply viewed or used to deliver a theory or direct the audience in a certain direction.
Abstraction is used as a tool to encourage both visual and mental investigation, rather than functioning to obscure or adjust an already existing image, theme or narrative. It also assists in further emphasising themes of vast opportunity and freedom. The use of found materials alongside tactile surfaces and evidence of human interaction help develop an important sense of history and relatable existence within each piece. This fusion of nostalgic sensibility and the universal languages of; form, colour and scale, ensures the work remains untainted, approachable and completely open to interpretation, whilst maintaining an aesthetic appeal and visual comfort.
Bennett's work are held in private collections throughout Australia, London, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Tokyo, Oslo, Toronto and Copenhagen.
Annelies Jahn’s art practice investigates ideas of space, relationship and temporality, experienced through things or objects, and space or place. Within a contemporary art context via observations of everyday objects and places. Her practice investigates the agency and reception of ephemerality, contingency, everydayness and context within the process of art making.
Annelies’ work has a minimalist sensibility, utilising non-traditional industrial and found materials such as acrylic, metal, styrofoam, mylar and cardboard. She works with a variety of media such as installation, intervention, wall-drawing, assemblage, painting, photography and video.
Pollyxenia Joannou was born in Sydney, Australia. Her qualifications include an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in London, UK and a BA Visual Arts Degree from the College of Fine Arts (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. She currently teaches at the National Art School in Sydney and has recently been awarded The Redland Gallery’s Acquisitive Art Award and The Onslow Storrier Artist Residency at The Cite des Arts in Paris which commences in October 2017. She has exhibited throughout Australia, the UK and Germany in both group and solo exhibitions. Polly is currently working towards a collaborative exhibition based on etchings from the Roman Forum at Macquarie University Gallery, a collaboration with Anthony Cahill titled “Red Herring 2” which are scheduled for 2017 and, a group exhibition entitled “Greyscale” which is due to tour to the UK in April 2017.
“The Images depicted speak of absence, impressions, traces and memory relating to structures of a by-gone and present-day landscape. This translation from the physical landscape and my personal historical experience to the studio is then broken down through shapes, proportions and the tactility of materials and mediums.
far from what is familiar
bringing what is familiar
- Pollyxenia Joannou
My work engages with sites of art as well as behavioural practices linked to contingencies that surround and inform our reception of a work of art. These may include blending or hybridising domestic, commercial, or museological signifiers in a single exhibition setting. Though my practice derives from a consideration of Painting, it strives to recognise the complex and reflexive discourses drawn from the medium which bears on our broad relationship with art in general.
In considering painting from the perspectives of representation and object, I seek to engage with and accentuate the theatricality inherent in the broader staging of an exhibition. My work highlights the transitional quality of artworks and the contextual shift in meaning generated as they track through varying sites. One could surmise my practice as art about the handling of art as it travels, reiterating itself between the studio, gallery, storage, and document.
My work explores the utopian promise of Modernism via the institutional critiques of the new avant-garde and explores the possible trajectories for art as it negotiates the digital landscape. It responds to Jean Baudrillard’s notion of ‘transaesthetics', that perceived Duchamp’s readymades as the magic bullet to end an unambiguous art aesthetic; and Guy Debord’s rumblings of ‘the Spectacle’, where direct experience is transformed into mere representation through modern paradigms of production.
“My work embraces ceramics and performance, equally. My ceramics as objects speak for themselves, through my performances I seek to position the creative self within a public space. The performance presents a meditative platform that enables me to develop and strengthen a live relationship with my audiences.
This new work for Stacks is titled I AM HUMAN 2. It builds upon a recent performance for my Master of Fine Art degree presented at the National Art School last November. I see it as an extension of my creative process in that I am moving beyond my solitary and personal realm to activate — albeit quietly — a public space and share with a live audience.”
Image credit: Peter Morgan
Amber Hearn - Curator
Amber hearn is a cross disciplinary Sydney based artist, curator and director at STACKS projects. Amber received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the National Art School Sydney in 2014. She is the sole founder of the ‘Crossing Borders’ annual refugee fundraising exhibition project which began in 2013.
As an artist her practice draws on a range of media in an attempt to create a dialogue of investigations into our human experience of 'Being' in the world.
“I Find an exploration of light, shadow, scale, colour and form throughout my process to be a way to refer to, and engage with, our sensual bodily experiences that form our perception of this existence. I draw upon my environments, experiences, and memories for inspiration. I embed them within an accessible form, structure, installation, or projection. I also find my process to be a way for me to immerse myself actively and meditatively in each moment.”
Image credit: Crossing Borders, Peter Morgan