Category Archives: OLIVER, LESLIE

‘In Tandem’ Artists in ‘Mighty Small’

Exhibition-Install-Mighty-Small-20133

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

 

Todd-Fuller-baggage-I

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

Mylyn-Nguyen-Bombus1

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

Al-Munro-fictitious-mineral-drawing-9

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

Waratah-Lahy-animal-brooch-(orange-piglets)1

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

Leslie-Oliver-Up-n-up-n-up

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

Melinda-Le-Guay-Untitled

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.

Melinda-Le-Guay-First-Edition

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.

flatline_preview_1

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…

Framework_Issue_5_In_Tandem_1 Framework_Issue_5_In_Tandem_2

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.

meeting_al_waratah

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.

meeting_mylyn_todd

Mylyn Nguyen and Todd Fuller being filmed by Emma Conroy

- Olivia Welch

 

 

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Stockroom Collection: The Colour Red

Click each thumbnail for a large image and artwork details. Artists included in this collection: Robert Boynes, Will Coles, James Guppy, Waratah Lahy, Melinda Le Guay, Leslie Oliver, Patsy Payne and Lezlie Tilley.