EASS Curatorial Award: Metamorphosis
Curator Poppy Thomson: Metamorphosis
Official opening: 6pm, Friday 16 June, 2023
Artist panel discussion: 5pm, 16 June, 2023
Exhibition showing in Gallery 2: Friday 9 June – Saturday 8 July, 2023
Metamorphosis is all about the patterns that surround us. It takes its title from the seminal album by composer Philip Glass. Often classified a ‘minimalist’, Glass disavows this term. Indeed, his works rather comprise of extended repetitions of melodic fragments with subtle, interweaving compositional variants. Repetition is a technique widely employed by visual artists. However, Metamorphosis encourages its audience to look beyond an aesthetic of seriality. Rather, it brings together artists who translate patterns in the world around them into their artworks, often through acts of repetition, which in turn reveals the patterns in our surroundings that so often go unnoticed.
Janet Jeff’s Oceanic series explores the artist’s embodied relationship with the natural world through gestural abstraction. Painterly, almost filmic illusions of the sky and water unfold across her canvas – a representation of Jeff’s lived experience on a rural home in Yuin country, near the Shoalhaven River. These reflections of sea and sky are inter-referential, creating the sensation of eternity that so often affects our perception when we encounter these two forces side by side.
Like Jeffs, Oliver Owens also explores the interrelatedness of humans and the places with which they associate through abstracted depictions of landscape. Owens viewing of landscape is a highly psychological one, involving complex information reception and analysis based on sensory immersions and the presence of subjective expectations or memories. These processes have the capacity to shape our understanding and relationship to place by forming conceptions such as beauty, value or safety. Owen’s ceramic vessels distil the essence of place, their repetitive characteristics and allusive characteristics asking its viewers to consider their relationships to the places they care about.
Janet Jeffs and Oliver Owens are interpreters of unseen systems, their works a revelation of overlooked landscapes, and the deeply subjective relationship we all hold with the natural world.
The ANU Print Media Collaborative Project was conceived and initiated by Rebecca Mayo and Deidre Brollo for the Print and Space course at the School of Art and Design. Inspired by Lefebvre’s argument that space is a social product, or complex social construction, students recreated an image of Parliament House using ink pen dots, augmenting the picture through the printing form into CMYK layers. The project reveals the deliberate structure of patterns within our landscape – often at odds with our day-to-day corporeal experience. As collaborative design, the work also speaks to patterns of interaction, and the innateness of communication both in art, and in life.
About the artists:
Janet Jeffs is a visual arts student, currently studying a fulltime double degree in a Bachelor of Visual Art, with a major in painting and a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship at the ANU School of Art and Design. Janet completed a Diploma of Visual Art at Reid CIT in 2019.Janet was a finalist in the ANU Drawing Prize in 2020, 2021 and 2022.Community exhibitions include Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Art Awards 2019 and Braidwood Regional Art Group Members Exhibition in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Oliver Owens is a ceramic artist recently graduated from the Australian National University’s School ofArt and Design, and currently based across Sydney, Eora and Gadigal land. Owen’s affinity to the
processes and characteristics of wheel thrown vessels drives his practice, and his most recent
bodies of work make use of thrown and altered forms in conjunction with satin glaze finishes.
These vessel series have been inspired by landscape, and create abstracted depictions of
natural environments to explore how the relationships humans share with landscape are
shaped through their perceptions and interactions.
Metamorphosis Artist Panel discussion, 5pm, 16 June 2023 (immediately prior to the opening). Join EASS Award winning emerging curator Poppy Thomson in conversation with artists Janet Jeffs and Oliver Owens.