Thursday, 27 March 2014

Performance: 'Sorry Doll', Redfern Biennale, March 8, 2014

The site specific performance that I presented for the Redfern Biennale saw the Sorry Doll (2014) respond to the complex socio-economic landscape of the Redfern public housing estate which is located between Cooper, Elizabeth, Redfern and Morehead Streets, Redfern. 

Performance details: The 'Sorry Doll' sat and stood shame faced at two bus stops on Elizabeth Street. The performance lasted 2 hours from 3.30- 5.30pm. Both locations guaranteed that all passing traffic, including foot, car and buses would encounter the Sorry Doll. 

Background: From the late 90s I lived on both Morehead Street and Elizabeth Street for approximately 8 years. The first dwelling was in the private sector (read: almost affordable sub-standard housing for artists)  and the second was emergency housing (subleased from the private sector) due to coming down with a chronic illness during my Honours year at SCA. [Needless to day, I vacated emergency housing when my health returned and I was able to return to secure ongoing employment.]

In preparation for this performance, I typed up a manifesto for the Sorry Doll, which would help visitors contextualise why the Sorry Doll was indeed sorry. To be absolutely clear, the Sorry Doll's manifesto reflects my own political views, which are informed by having lived on the edge of a public housing estate for many years. The following text is a copy of a handout that visitors were able to take away:

Sorry Doll is sorry for:
- The Union Jack on the Australian flag
- The Abbott Government
- The unlawful detention of Refugees on Manus Island
- Centrelink and Pension pay rates falling well below the minimal wage
- The erosion of worker rights and unions in Australia

The insurmountable void between the real costs of living in Sydney and Centrelink payments is indisputable. On the morning of the install, a friend and I were approached by a middle aged indigenous woman who wanted more information about the event. After briefing her, she had one question. I have paraphrased her question and comment: 'Will there be free food? No one around here has eaten for one week.'  

Her comment reminded me of J.M.Coetzee's novel, 'Disgrace' (1999). Set in a South African township, a haunting section of the novel depicts a parent and child sniffing glue together. Rationale: To curtail their hunger pangs. The comment, 'No one around here has eaten for a week' also reminded me of Warwick Thornton's provocative film 'Samson and Delilah' (2009), which depicts young indigenous kids sniffing petrol. 

To return to details about the performance, there was a huge element of risk involved due to the fact that the costume disallowed me to see for two hours. For readers who are not familiar with Sorry Dolls, these dolls depict oversized toddlers that have no face. Being temporarily blinded in an area where crystal methamphetimine drug culture appears to be on the increase required me to rethink the staging of the performance. Subsequently, I was able to enlist the help of trusted friends to 'become my eyes' during the course of the performance. 

Special thanks to my oh-so-macho minders: Robert Lake, Jeffrey Stewart and Lynne Barwick.
Photographic documentation: Felicity Jenkins
Event organiser: Damien Minton Gallery
Most importantly: Thankyou to the Redfern locals

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Sorry Doll (2014)| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My upcoming shows- April- July 2014

1. Clandulla State Gallery- Inaugural exhibition, 'The Survey Show'.
12-13 April 2014
Venue: Clandulla State Forrest 
Project outline: To expand on the automatic drawings that came about through my participation in 'Splice' at Articulate Project Space in January, 2014. If weather permits, I will draw directly onto the floor of the gallery. In addition to this, I will also be experimenting with 'carpeting' the gallery floor with drawings.

2. FAIR-ISLE, a progressive project of work by 30 artists over 5 weeks.

Fair Isle is open Sat - Sun 11am - 5pm, 12 April to 11 May. 

Fair Isle openings are  6-8pm  Fri 11 April,  Wed 23 April and Fri 9 May.

Fair Isle's first opening on Friday 11 April 6-8pm will show new work by Bettina BruderFiona Davies, Fiona Kemp,  Rose Anne McGreevyAlan Rose and Helen L Sturgess.   Fair- Isle will then be open 11am - 5pm Sat - Sun 12-13 April.
There will be a second opening 6-8pm Wednesday 23 April, and then Fair Isle will be open 11am - 5pm  Sat - Sun 26 - 27 April with work by: Sach CattsClara ChowBarbara Halnan,  Justin Henderson,  Andrew Simmons Sardar Sinjawi,  Vicky Versa, John von Sturmer, Skye Wagner and 3 others. 

Fair Isle will be open again 11am - 5pm Sat - Sun 3-4 May with work by: Lisa Andrew, Clara Chow,  Criena Court, Justin Henderson, Virginia Hilyard, James Nguyen, Margaret Roberts, Andrew Simmons Sardar SinjawiIoulia Terizis, Vicky Versa and John von Sturmer.

There will be a final opening 6-8pm Friday 9 May, and then Fair Isle will be open 11am - 5pm  Sat - Sun 10-11 May with work by:  Lisa  Andrew, Criena Court,  Beata Geyer, Virginia Hilyard, Anna Jaaniste,  Gillian Lavery, James Nguyen, Diane McCarthy, Margaret Roberts, Alexandra Spence/Katrina Stamatopoulos, Ioulia Terizis and India Zegan.

Venue: Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt

3. Office Project Space @ Factory 49
11-21 June
Venue:  49 Shepherd Street, Marrickville
Project outline: The work for this exhibition will be an expanded automatic drawing installation. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

LOST @ Articulate Project Space, March 1-8, 2014; and Marrickville Open Studio Trail (M.O.S.T), March 1-2 2014;

LOST: My engagement with cold and warm pale grey tones is ongoing. It was good to see these two drawings on display as part of the Leichhardt Open Studio Trail (LOST). These drawings are a bit of a curiosity for me as I have not drawn for many years. I'm not sure where they are coming from. They're automatic and they're compelling to me. The last time I enjoyed drawing was in a class John Lethbridge organised when I was an undergraduate at SCA.

Having the opportunity to display them in a gallery space gave me an insight into how much space they each require for public display, as each work is 150cm wide.

Special thanks to the Coordinators of Articulate Project Space for inviting me into their open studio event.

India Zegan| 'Raft drawing #1'(2014) | Coloured pencils on archival Magniani paper| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan | Raft drawings no's 2 & 1(left to right) (2014). Coloured pencil on archival Magniani paper | Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

M.O.S.T open studio day 1: It's been good to see my new works arranged in a slightly more formal way in my studio. As an experiment, it has been interesting to put these newer works (November 2013- March 2014) up against a selection of works made over the course of the last three years; with one exception, 'Museum of Fathers: 30 irregular minutes'  which was a long haul project,1999-2013. The irregular minutes piece casts a circular orientated 'light' shadow on the wall behind it. Due to spatial constraints, I was not able to install it properly on its 180 degree hinges, which allows for fluid 'gate-like' movement of the work.

I will be uploading more object details shortly. 

The floor piece, 'Museum of Fathers #41: Raft' (2014, [1]) was also made in response to Margaret's and Beata Geyer's work in the 'Splice'. The details pertaining to this piece and other works will be uploaded after the Biennale opens to the public on the 20th March. Read: When I leave 'Cockatoo Island time' and return to the mainland.

The darker toned automatic drawing, 'Museum of Fathers #42: Slow' (2014, left hand side) was made in response to Margaret Robert's work, based on a Katarzyna Korba sculpture, that she presented earlier this year for 'Splice' at Articulate Project Space. The tonal range of 'Museum of Fathers #42: Slow' was inspired by by Jacqueline Spedding's ceramic and found objects from the same spatial laboratory/ exhibition.

Work in progress: 'Raft drawing #3' (2014) in multiple shades of grey (right hand side, photograph above and below this text) requires a few more hours of tweaking to get the upper section of the drawing to its final deep and warm grey tone.  

Work in progress: In between visitors I was able to start 'Raft drawing #4' (2014), see photo directly above this text. I will not be able to make final tonal adjustments to each work until the complete set of 8 drawings are all at 85% finished. As these are mural sized drawings, (width of paper=150cm), I am hoping that I can push these works through by mid year.

'Raft drawings #1-2' (2014) are currently on display at Articulate Project Space as part of the Leichhardt Open Studio Trail (L.O.S.T) until the 8th March. An image of 'Raft #2' is available on the Articulate Project Space blog; proper documentation is forthcoming.

 9.00pm: Waiting for a train home on Sunday night, Sydneham train station

Open studio day 2:  Thanks to all who came along- in the rain- to support the MOST event. Many thanks to Rini who took charge at ground control and got things 'ship-shape'. 

Summary: It is pleasing to have formally completed this 3 year cycle of works that spans 2011-2014.