Category Archives: LE GUAY, MELINDA

‘In Tandem’ Artists in ‘Mighty Small’

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Exhibition Install – Mighty Small

Last year I had the opportunity to co-curate Mighty Small with Brenda May Gallery. This exhibition was conceptualised after rifling through the Gallery’s archives and finding an invitation to a previous exhibition entitled Small and an image of an art vending machine from the early 1990′s made by a group of students. Adopting the pint-sized scale of Small, I curatorially aimed for the works in Mighty Small to not only be little in size, but rely on this scale as an integral part of the work desired impact. I found that I almost exclusively selected work by artists that the Gallery already had a relationship with. When invited to curate another show this year, In Tandem was quickly devised, taking my knowledge of these artists and pairing them based on similar sensibilities, aesthetics or thematic tendencies.

Exhibition-Install-Mighty-Small-2013

Exhibition Install – Mighty Small

All of the artists that have been selected for In Tandem had work in Mighty Small. Below is a look at each artist’s contribution to this first exhibition.

- Olivia Welch

 

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Todd Fuller, ‘baggage I’ 2013, oil and pigment on terracotta, iPod playing ‘adrift’, 12.5 x 14.5 x 5.5cm

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Mylyn Nguyen, ‘Bombus + House’ 2013, watercolour + ink on paper, fibre, plastic film + acrylic, 10 x 4 x 4cm variable

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Al Munro, ‘fictitious mineral drawing 9′ 2103, paint marker, glitter, paper – unframed, 14.5 x 14.5cm

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Waratah Lahy, ‘animal brooch (orange piglets)’ 2013, oil on beer can aluminium, metal brooch back, 3 x 3.5cm

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Leslie Oliver, ‘Up’n up’n up’ 2013, painted brass, 23 x 27 x 19cm

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Melinda Le Guay, ‘Untitled’, ink on paper – unframed, 14 x 9.5cm

Other Collaborations, Conversations and Creative Partnerships with ‘In Tandem’ Artists

Some of the artists participating in In Tandem have worked in other creative duos, including Melinda Le Guay and Leslie Oliver. Le Guay worked with Helen Mueller + Carla Priivald and Oliver collaborated with Sokquan Tran for Brenda May Gallery’s exhibition ‘Couples/Collaborators + Other Partnerships’ in 2005.

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Melinda Le Guay, ‘First Edition’ 2005, In collaboration with Helen Mueller and Carla Priivald – intaglio print, combined papers, 34 x 54 x 4cm

Leslie-Oliver-The-Stones-Were-There Leslie Oliver, 'The Stones Were There' 2004, In collaboration with Sokquon Tran - ultracrome print on archival photo rag and mixed media sculptural elements, 57 x 67.5 x 7cm, edition of 5

Leslie Oliver, ‘The Stones Were There’ 2004, In collaboration with Sokquon Tran – ultracrome print on archival photo rag and mixed media sculptural elements, 57 x 67.5 x 7cm, edition of 5

Currently working together under the guise of Flatline are In Tandem artist Todd Fuller and dancer/choreographer Carl Sciberras, combining talents to form a dance/art hybrid. Their newest project will be showcased in Brenda May Gallery and Black Box Projects later this year.

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A still from Flatline’s 2013 showcase of the cross-disciplinary, experimental performance ‘Studies in Motion’. Flatline is an interdisciplinary collective comprised of Todd Fuller + Carl Sciberras

Rescue, Gather and Collect: Leslie Oliver + Melinda Le Guay – A Curator’s perspective

Published in COFA’s Framework, this essay explores the initial stages of Melinda Le Guay and Leslie Oliver’s collaborative process for the exhibition In Tandem from a curator’s perspective…

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Characteristically, Melinda Le Guay was a little early and Leslie Oliver, a little late. Knowing that these two respected artists had only ever met briefly and informally, and that I had to therefore facilitate their meeting, was a tad daunting. Working as an assistant for Brenda May Gallery throughout my degree with the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, I have been familiarised with many of the Gallery’s artists via databases full of images and archives bursting with information. Last year I had the opportunity to co-curate Mighty Small, which focused on artworks where a small-scale was integral to the desired impact. I found that I almost exclusively selected work by artists that the Gallery already had a relationship with. When invited to curate another show this year, In Tandem was quickly devised, taking my knowledge of these artists and pairing them based on similar sensibilities, aesthetics or thematic tendencies. Equipped with cold water, ginger biscuits and the attention of the Gallery’s Director Brenda May, who has represented and supported both Le Guay and Oliver for many years, it was time to get the ball rolling…

The pairing of Le Guay and Oliver to collectively create pieces for the exhibition In Tandem was cemented via May’s suggestion. Throughout their artistic practices both artists have successfully experimented with various materials in sculptural and two-dimensional mediums. The two artists began referring to part of their respective processes as rescuing materials; saving battered paper for Le Guay and salvaging objects that would otherwise be landfill in Oliver’s case. A comparable affection for materials and objects revealed itself as common ground.

With the topic changing to both artists’ pending exhibitions also in 2014, images of work for Oliver’s Walking Sticks – Crooks, Staves and Scepters provoked a spirited reaction from Le Guay, who was instantly reminded of her work ‘Take Care’ from 2009. In both cases the artists similarly use thin wooden objects as a base, giving them a vertical presentation that allows for a play of shadow along the surface of the wall. Where Oliver uses stripes and geometric patterns of rich colour, Le Guay embellished her fronds with feathers and bound them with string. Discussing each other’s work, Le Guay remarked that there is a whimsicality present in Oliver’s sculptures that she finds appealing and he commented on the beauty of her stitch work. As his works are injected with life and animation through colour and her palette often pertains to muted tones, an obvious appreciation for one another’s differing aesthetic emerged.

At this point in the conversation the seating was unconsciously rearranged so that Le Guay and Oliver were sitting as to face each other and myself, outside of the conversation looking in. I was no longer needed as the conversational compère and sunk comfortably into my role as curator, observing the birth of a creative relationship. With both artists continuing to chat until time caught up with them, they agreed to begin searching for materials for each other, like a joint rescue mission.

With the discussion continuing over email, there have been mentions of weathered chicken wire, copper dish scourers, cellophane bags, curled apple green wrapping paper, sticks and iridescent thread among other things. As to whether all or any of these materials make an appearance in Le Guay and Oliver’s joint venture, that cannot be certain until the day before the work is due to arrive at the Gallery, having worked with both artists in the past. However, this attentive process of gathering and collecting with each other in mind has revealed itself as an integral part of their artistic partnership, a partnership I am afforded the fascinating opportunity to watch unfurl and evolve – a curator’s dream, really…

Melinda Le Guay and Leslie Oliver will be one of three creative duos in the exhibition In Tandem on view from 22 April to 17 May at Brenda May Gallery in Sydney.

- Olivia Welch

Meetings with ‘In Tandem’ Artists

Over the past few weeks, I have organised and participated in a number of meetings with the talented artists working together for In Tandem.

Most recently Melinda Le Guay and Leslie Oliver came in to the Gallery to discuss how they plan to use the various materials that they have collected for each other. Revealing plans for bound thorns, horizontal sticks, embellished embossed paper and box frames, Le Guay and Oliver’s contribution is shaping up to be a series of framed collections of objects.

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Leslie Oliver, Brenda May and Melinda Le Guay discussing their collaboration. Linda van Niekerk’s exhibition ’10 Years On’ in the background.

A few weekends ago I made a trip to Canberra to visit Waratah Lahy and Al Munro at the Australian National University, where they both work, to take a sneak peek at their work for the exhibition. Discovering that they both work in differing ways, the artists have created separate bodies of work with each other’s aesthetic in mind.

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Al Munro and Waratah Lahy taking photograohs of Munro’s works in progress for ‘In Tandem’.

I joined Mylyn Nguyen and Todd Fuller whilst they were being filmed by Emma Conroy for the interview component of a clip focusing on the artists’ collaborative process. During this interview both artists, who are storytellers in their individual practices, revealed to each other for the first time what they see as the narratives of their collaborative sculptures.

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Mylyn Nguyen and Todd Fuller being filmed by Emma Conroy

- Olivia Welch

 

 

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Paper Works II – Closing 4 May 2013

Despite the curatorial limitations requiring the works to be crafted using paper, Paper Works II is remarkably diverse. Along a shelf is Mylyn Nguyen’s collection of glass jars and vessels, where only upon closer examination the extraordinarily lifelike daddy long-legs spiders that appear to have been captured and confined, reveal themselves as intricately cut inanimate, painted paper.  Melinda Le Guay’s ‘Furl’ embodies the fragile and diaphanous nature of tissue paper, whilst contrasting this quality with the strength and composition provided by the frames she has crafted using agapanthus stalks.

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Where some works present the delicacy of paper, others showcase the strength of the medium or reflect the contact with paper unavoidable in daily life. Trudy Moore’s remarkable rubbing, that is also simultaneously a paper sculpture, manages to hold its form without any supports. Providing a participatory factor are both Tammie Castle’s ‘Home is Where the Heart is’, inviting visitors to share a memory of home on a postcard, and also Chris Bold’s ‘What Happens Here Then’, which streams from the front of the building and into the Gallery, recording the footsteps of visitors.

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Melinda Le Guay + Samantha Robinson – Closing 22 December

Despite a more diverse colour palette than in previous years, Melinda Le Guay‘s subtly beautiful exhibition Blood Lines still manages to exude a sense of calm due in part to the repetitive nature of the series. Each piece, featuring hundreds of tiny stamps that have been applied in exactitude, displays Le Guay’s incredible patience in creating uniform direction, size and shape within her work. Even though each piece is formed by patterns of line and colour, they are not simply mechanical, as the hand of the artist is still visible in small moments where a stamp is slightly out of line, the pressure altered or the colour faded.

Don’t miss seeing the amazing 2.5 metre porcelain dolls before the Samantha Robinson exhibition closes on Thursday December 20. Samantha travelled to Jingdezhen in China to work with Master Wu in his studio. After the pots were formed, Samantha and seven assistants then spent an astonishing 504 hours to carve them using razor blades and then an additional 336 hours to hand paint them.

Alongside Samantha Robinson‘s immense doll vessels, the Gallery is pleased to launch the new collection of thimble cups and celadon coloured lotus and rose bowls. The new cups, plates and bowls are currently available exclusively at the Gallery – just in time for some last minute holiday shopping!

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This is also a friendly reminder that next week is our last open in 2012 as we will be closing on Saturday 22 December for our holiday break. We will reopen on Wednesday 23 January 2013 with our annual Sculpture exhibition. Have a safe and happy holiday!