Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Anne Ooms and Catriona Stanton

Devil Dodgers

 November 15 – December 19

This exhibition is the product of a dialogue between Catriona Stanton and. Anne Ooms, student and teacher. Catriona completed a Masters Degree at Charles Darwin University and since then their dialogue has been maintained through collaborative exhibitions The second one at Wollongong University gave us these works.

These pieces began as found objects “ Anne started the process and sent painted black carved polystyrene forms to me to adorn and embellish however I chose. Sometimes I just worked with found objects that echoed a shared aesthetic of Anne and I from knowing each others work for 10 years and Anne also came to the University of Wollongong studio to work with me and responded with black forms to my assemblages such as the sticks.” 

It is beautiful and exotic with obvious overtones of Indian mysticism, rendered with a wonderfully feminine lightness that might equally be a flirtatious glance translated into fantasy or religion as mood, freed from dogma and nothing more than a sunny afternoon or art.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Give me space and don't tell me what to do
Until 14 November 2015

Trek Valdizno is a Filipino and he is an abstract artist. Unusual because in Australia Filipino art is noted for it’s social realism. Artist’s concerned with the politics of corruption, inequality and the psychosexual drama of the Catholic Religion. Abstraction however has a Filipino history that began in the mid 20th century with a group of “Neo-realist” artists. So called because they strove to find a separate and new reality in their paintings. And so it is with Trek.  His works appear to be of a subject yet it is an invention that he is striving to achieve through his spontaneous gestural marks not an interoperation of reality.

Discussing his work Trek asked the question, does it look Asian, is it oriental? And while a prescriptive definition of Asian Art would be doomed as a cliché I can say that Trek’s abstract art doesn’t seem dominated by the landscape in the way that Australian abstract at is. Here the most rigorous abstract artists attach place names to their paintings suggesting perhaps a connection through mood to particular landscapes while the potent force that is Aboriginal abstract painting deepens this connection with land into a cosmology. In comparison Trek offers us images of objects but not of our world. These are objects that he has found in him self.

This is a kind of Abstract Expressionism, something that was the artistic invention of the USA, the Philippines 20th century coloniser. Part high culture missionary and part pop culture’s adulterous concubine, the pervasive intervention of American culture in Asia that began in the Philippines has become a question of how Asia appropriates modernity. It’s miss read, modified to meet local requirements, and repackaged for export back to the west where it takes it place on the shelves of a global cultural supermarket.

And in that supermarket Filipino abstract painting has a look about it that is hard to mistake, a look that looks a lot like these paintings by Trek. Raw paintings quickly made of an interior space that is far from claustrophobic.

Friday, 2 October 2015


There's room in my house

Until 17 October 2015

In this piece, Gail Kenning and Sue Pedley quote the sentiment and words of 5-year-old Xavier Egan at the Light the Dark Vigil in Hyde Park on Monday 7th September. A rally held in solidarity with the waves of fleeing migrants entering Europe during the northern summer of 2015.

Here in SLOT Gail Kenning and Sue Pedley sharpen the focus of the sentiment to consider the distinction between a house, a home and perhaps the shared refuge that humanity might find in art.

Monday, 21 September 2015


Departure drawings
21 September 2015

Susannah’s drawing is a fastidiously edited composition of litter that has the temporal beauty of a breeze. Something gentle across the skin, it sirs up what ever has been left behind. In a moment it’s perfect and in another, gone.

The fastidious process of this work has Susanna in the window space night after night arranging and rearranging her simple found materials. Through her process she turns the idea of an exhibition on its head by utilising the exhibition time as a period of studio practice, cumulating in the realisation of a work. Fleetingly visible, it can only be known in its passing. 

I suppose our lives cannot be known until they are lived, the game of football not known until it is played, and this place not known until it is gone. There is a wistful sorrow in these departure drawings, along with their undeniable beauty and inventiveness that was for me at least, a moment of many memories.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Living Sparkle.
Fieldwork #2 Kamay/Botany Bay 2015

Until 22  August  2015

Years ago I found a small book in an opportunity shop called Fieldwork in Animal Biology, which as it happens includes guidelines for fieldwork on marine platforms. It predicted a direction in my artwork; amplified and extended in conversations with Marie McMahon and further book research on geology, biology and history back in the studio.

The Living Sparkle is the second work to arise from fortnightly visits to Cape Banks and Cruwee Cove out at Kamay/Botany Bay near the end of Botany Road. A marine platform where underwater gardens are exposed, each rock pool is a unique multicultural assemblage of animals and plants. Delicate anemone pink tendrils, stripy self-housing sea animals, startling pink, apricot and burgundy algae all sway under the glistening brine.

This is the color and texture of my work, inspired by the Australian ikebana of Norman Sparnon and built using the display and presentation techniques of window-dressers. It is an articulation of my fieldwork expressed in the eco-system of Botany Roads beginning.

Jan Fieldsend, 2015





July - January 2016 at Darlington Installation Project

 Arthur Apanski takes a moral position in his art.  And it is a principled stand. He is against war, the greed that motivates it and along with it the suffering it delivers. My contribution to our collaboration was pragmatic in comparison. I was the one to offer Arthur’s skeleton wrapped in Australian bank notes a chair.



With deft precision Arthur’s works confront the viewer, in this case with the idea of money. For Arthur money, at best a necessary evil is the route of man’s inhumanity to man. Although it is ironic that once the war over money is fought it is money that we send the consequent refugees left struggling to begin life a new. Money spiralling in ever more incomprehensible numbers defines our homes as crippling mortgages and it’s money that we carelessly spend on a coffee, a movie, even lunch as a diversion from the sobering burden it becomes. Arthur has it right; we are “money to the bone”. The moral, like all morals however is open to interpretation and pragmatic presentation..

Arthur stood back from his work, examined it briefly. Satisfied he picked up his mobile phone, to arrange his next appointment. Like Elvis he had left the building and me wondering if one mans hangover might be another man’s inheritance.


Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Until 18 July 2015

Marie McMahon’s paintings are a kind of landscape. A reconstruction assembled from observational notes that reduce the landscape to its component colours.

 These colour ribbons describe afternoons spent examining the rock ledges of Botany Bay that are exposed between the tides, a zone, a zonation that is littered with flotsam and jetsam not entirely sea or land. Here sponges, pumice and ambiguous water-worn objects are strewn between rock-holes reflecting the sky in hemispheres of water.

The romanticism of Marie’s imagery is objectified in her paintings. They adopt a kind of geometry that suggests cubism, which is the idea of painting that is simultaneously a representation of something and the invention of a new reality on the paintings surface.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Psychedelic Mandalas.

Until 13 June 2015

Ask Roger Foley-Fogg when he made his Psychedelic Mandalas he will reply that it was when he was a kid. That’s when he started noticing the diffused opalescent light that has guided his long life of illumination. Foley-Fogg is synonymous with Light

He catalogues these works as dating from 1966, which is when Life magazine ran a cover story on the phoneme of Psychedelic art. As Roger says, that is when he realised what he was seeing could be of interest to others. And for Roger who worked under the name Elis D. Fogg as the wizard of rock show lighting during the late 60’s and 70’s the interest in his opalescent light was rapturous. His vision roared with the voice of rock and roll to become the immersive art of the counter culture

The history of Fogg’s art is also the history of lighting technology. Defining and redefining what is possible morphed Roger’s art from the theater to the gallery wall. The availability of LED lights, low voltage circuits and simple digital technology permitted this Psychedelic Mandala, the current manifestation of Roger’s vision that was assembled for his retrospective at Hazelhurst Gallery in 2010.

So this work has its date 1966 – 2010, emphasising the fact that this is the vision that has propelled Roger Foley-Fogg’s life.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Dress Code.

Until 23 May 2015

Maryanne Coutts’ drawing Dress Code is a kind of diary. Two years ago she set out to record her clothing choices on a daily basis and now she is showing about a year of her document in Slot.

When Maryanne began her objective was to faithfully document the clothes she wore but, with time, the project has grown to reflect other aspects of her life. When she travels she makes a record in her sketchbook, while working in her studio Maryanne’s daily notes become meditative studies of her costume. In her office, Maryanne is also Head of Drawing at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, her notes are made on the paper that she finds there. Papers traveling across her desk that seem to temper her focus on the self and offer an alternative costume.

Of course all art is a reflection of the artist’s life and preoccupations. This piece abandons the convention of an artist working in a consistent manner while proposing the idea that an artist may choose a drawing style in the same way that any one of us might choose our clothes, apparently capriciously inconsistent - but nevertheless appropriate to the dress code of the occasion.

We may dress to be seen and we may dress to avoid detection, or pull on a pair of jeans because it’s autumn. In Maryanne’s playful work the eddies and rushes of life are laid out in her simple choices of clobber. Spread out before us is a year of Maryanne’s life.


Sunday, 15 March 2015


Until 18 April 2015

To describe Russell Jeff, as an outsider artist is one way of saying that his art has yet to be absorbed by the thin veneer that is Sydney’s art word. Out here the sustained passion of his remarkable body of work stands “Enr Mally-like” oblivious to the mannered conventions of our art scene. Seemingly it is made up - out of nothing.

    Russell Jeff. Painting 2015, acrylic on board 100 x 250 cm

Russell Jeff invented this. And “this” sits a little uncomfortably out side what is usually considered art. While referring, perhaps unwittingly to both the natural world and the idea of art these collections of painted marks, these fastidiously arranged flicks and dots convey the emotional depth of a world known only to Russell Jeff.

Russel was adopted by a couple from Sutherland who lived there until 1968 when they moved to Sawtell near Coffs Harbour. Russel went on to leave school at 16. Worked as a labourer for a couple of years before joining the air force at 19 in 1978. They took Russell as a boy, 4 years later they gave Russell back - the man who went on working as a labourer along the north coast of New South Wales.  Then about 15 years ago he moved to Sydney. He was homeless for a while working at Flemington market. As he reached 50 illness struck, massive surgery to his stomach and bowel put him into “housing”, the department of housing flats around the corner from SLOT in Waterloo. For a while he had a job in a plastics factory in Gymea that lasted until Dollar hit parity with the US currency and since then, he’s been on the “rock and roll”.

 Russell Jeff. Painting (detail) 2015, acrylic on board 100 x 250 cm

It was Ken Harris who has a Sunday afternoon show on TVS about painting that Russell says inspired him to paint. He bought some brushes, found some materials and began.
Wanting to get a gauge on what he was doing he set up a display in the tunnel at central railway – a lady walked past and said I could even buy that. It was encouragement enough for Russell.

4 years later Russell Jeff has made the visionary journey to these works, which is the kind of journey that ennobles the human sprit.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Low Tide.
Until 14 March 2015

For Wendy Bornholdt the emptiness of SLOT is not empty.

She has given us the space of SLOT conditioned, caressed perhaps with a single, elegantly spare gesture of text on the window, a two word statement that reads: “Low Tide”.

This text is both literature and a graphic intervention. As Wendy observed, “it is difficult to look at a word and understand it without saying it silently while at the same time generating an image in your head. Low tides are full of potential. They are time limited opportunities for discovery and revelation…. uncoverings of sorts.”

Read graphically the text also operates as a kind of boundary marker. Stuck on the surface of the window it can’t help mingling with the reflections of our place. Here, cars and trucks grind past along the road, more vehicles are abandoned beside it, a butcher, $2 shop, the tailor’s sign relentlessly flashing all swimming in the surface of the window around Wendy’s sliver of text. It offers nothing more to the inside wall of SLOT than a shadow of its self and then only for a few hours each morning. Yet it draws a mysterious curtain across the wall that persists with quiet tenacity to invite a meditation on the poetry of absence.

Wendy has given us back our place with the invitation to imagine it other wise. This is one of the principal functions of art.


February 2015 - July 2015

This fusion of tangled branches is pragmatically beautiful. Shaped at once by S.A. Adair’s material, then by her method, the constraints of our exhibition space and finally Sally’s compassionate hand that seems to be the junior partner in this collaboration but is of course is at it’s heart.

It was previously titled s.o.e., sense of edge and was shown at the Belconnen Art Centre in Canberra. There and here Sally has considered the space around the object as an unseen partner in the work. And it is this quality, rather than a polemic or narrative that Sally maintains in her practise. It has an indeterminate edge. Rather than offering an alternative reality, this art is simply scribbled over a reality that we already have. It’s an addition to the world as we know it with the ambition of becoming part of it.

 See more of Sally’s work at

DIP is a partner window project of SLOT. It is located on the corner of Abbercrombie Street and Golden Grove, Darlington; about a ten minute walk from SLOT. The space is made available by Lloyd Suttor, who runs a bed and breakfast at the location.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

State of Youth.

Until 7 February 2015

American photographer and cinematographer Jamie Maxtone-Graham has produced numerous portfolios since moving to live in Hanoi full time in 2007. Through these bodies of work, he looks to locate his place within a given environment or, at least, to define some relationship with it. 

His understanding of life in Vietnam began with a visit in 1990 to shoot the feature documentary From Hollywood to Hanoi. In 2007-08 he became a Fullbright Research Fellow. With the simple idea of photographing Western influence on contemporary Vietnamese youth culture, he learned that 'none of it is...clear or neat or simple...It's very nuanced and complex.'

While direct Western influence may exist, it is often 'more likely filtered through the popular cultural iterations of more developed countries in the region: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan'. State of Youth is the resulting body of work. The full series consists of 40 images. 

Jamie's background has moved between commercial and narrative cinematography and photography and could be described as bordering on 'social realist with a theatrical edge'.  Turning to predominantly portraiture in 2009, this recent series demonstrates a deep sensitivity towards his 'collaborators', and observations on the passing of time and mortality. Touching on Colonialism and ideas of the 'outsider', Jamie explores ways of flattening power relations, searching to create works that are not ideological or representative, but rather 'open-ended...no question to answer or theme to impose.'

This exhibition was coordinated by artist Mai Nguyen-Long during a recent Hanoi visit. For more about Jamie's work visit jamiemaxtonegraham.com