John Pratt and Peter McLean: Traverse
Exhibition Showing: 31 March – 3 June 2023
Artist Talk: 31 March 5:40pm
Traverse -‘ tract thus surveyed’ The dictionary definition of ‘Traverse’ provides a curiously open understanding of the term including the implication of ‘Mapping’. The Map itself conventionally delivers an empirical and analytic portrayal of the landscape – however through its syntax of shape, colour and text it also provides a felt archive of emotional and psychological presence. This series of cartographic collages playfully explores this experiential subtext.
About the artists:
John Pratt is a graphic artist working across a range of media including printmaking, collage, drawing and projections in Public Space. Through a series of exhibitions, he has been exploring the impact of human presence within a range of natural landscapes and constructed environments. These landscapes or sites have ranged from National Parks in the ACT to Southern Coastal zones through suburbia to the streetscapes of the CBD. In each case he has explored the interchange of our existence and the physical space that surrounds us. He says, “We impact on the environment and in turn, we are determined by it”.
For this exhibition Peter McLean responds to maps as both physical and image. Through his interventions with historical material, the tonal greyscale becomes coloured and the vast abstracted expanses become peopled and intimate. Maps that have used such sophisticated methods of mathematics, surveying and symbolic pictorial language to make the topography conveniently flat, have been deftly altered to bring back form and organic fluidity. With various iterations, presented as a group, these forms themselves take on the feel of symbols, like letters in an unknown language.
McLean has a deep affinity for nature and the environment. Working across a range of printmaking techniques, drawing and installation, he explores the materiality of nature and our physical, emotional, and spiritual relationships with wild places. His practice combines traditional techniques and craftsmanship, a sense of play and willingness to experiment and a desire for his materials to be given equal voice as collaborators in his making process. Since graduating from ANU School of Art in 2010 he has maintained an active practice including numerous solo and group exhibitions, residencies, and teaching engagements.
Friday March 31, 5:40pm
John Pratt and Peter McLean will talk about Traverse and its themes of mapping and how we experience being in the landscape. They will respond to questions about their works, their artistic concerns and practices in printmaking, collage and mixed media.
Stay after the talk for the official opening three exhibitions: Nicci Haynes presents Incidental TV, On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee by Mark Dober as well as Traverse by John Pratt and Peter McLean.