Thursday, 15 May 2014

3/07/2014: Notes on 'Black Ice' and new group exhibition, 'Paper' at Factory 49

India Zegan| Museum of Fathers #49-52: Black Ice [#1-4] (2014) Materials: Archival Fabriano paper 200gsm and pencils| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins| Notes: Each drawing's width measures between 60-70cm; Height: 150cm.

'Paper' closes this coming Saturday. Close ups of the second panel, Museum of Fathers #50: Black Ice [#2] follows the text below.


The new group exhibition at Factory 49 is titled, 'Paper' and includes: Jonathan Christie, Barbara Halnan, Julia Kennedy- Bell, Kate Mackay, Liz Shreeve, Stephen Wickham and me. The exhibition opens 25th June and runs until 5th July. 
Special thanks to Pam Aitken and Kate Mackay for inviting me to participate in this group show.

The Museum of Fathers #49-52: Back Ice #1-4' (2014) works have now moved into the main space at Factory 49. This is quite pleasing to me, as visitors can now view the works hung in the order that I completed them.

India Zegan| Museum of Fathers# 50: Black Ice [#2], [detail shot] (2014) Materials: Archival Fabriano paper 200gsm and pencils| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Museum of Fathers #50: Black Ice [#2], [detail shot] (2014) Materials: Archival Fabriano paper 200gsm and pencils| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

India Zegan| Museum of Fathers #50: Black Ice [#2], [detail shot] (2014) Materials: Archival Fabriano paper 200gsm and pencils| Photographer: Felicity Jenkins

Solo show opened June 11th until 21st June
Venue: Factory 49
Address: 49 Shepherd Street, Marrickville
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 1-6pm, or by appointment

14/06/2014: 'Museum of Fathers #49-52: Back Ice [#1-4]' (2014)
Black ice is the ice that forms on roads when temperatures fall below freezing.  It is particularly treacherous, as it is completely transparent and cannot be easily seen. It is called ‘black’, because it reflects the tone of the asphalt beneath it.

Thanks to the separate suggestions of two dear mischievous friends who draw, I continued the drawing to the edge of the paper, using only white pencils. As the images below were taken on an iphone they do not capture the discrete pencil marks which make the works or the soft blurred edges between the amorphous black ice and white background.
India Zegan| 'Museum of Fathers #49 &50: Back Ice #1-2' (2014)
Medium: Pencil of archival Fabriano paper 200gsm

The 'spills' located in each drawing allude to the black ice forms slowly floating and melting away. With these automatic drawings, I wanted to explore opacity and transparency through ambiguous surfaces which interrogate visual  perceptions of surface, mass and depth.  This work also investigates movement, physicality, vision and endurance. My aim was to invite viewers to consider their own visual understandings of space, matter and presence.

Notes on making: As the exhibition space is quite intimate, has two door openings, contains a discreet house keeping cupboard and also functions as Factory 49's office, there were a couple of sleepless nights trying to work out what to present in this space. During these non sleeping hours, I imagined and worked through about 20 potential ideas which I usually discarded at around 4am in the morning. I had originally thought that I would present a floor work, but decided against this due to the traffic flow through the space. The floor work that I initially had in mind requires a substantially larger apron of free space around the work and space for two sitting benches. Subsequently, the 'Black Ice' drawings were specifically conceived with the spatial geography of the office space in mind. 

India Zegan| 'Museum of Fathers #51: Back Ice #3' (2014)
Medium: Pencil of archival Fabriano paper 200gsm

India Zegan| 'Museum of Fathers #52: Back Ice #4' (2014)
Medium: Pencil of archival Fabriano paper 200gsm

15/05/2014: Work in progress photo below
India Zegan | Museum of Fathers | 'Black ice' drawings (2014): work in progress

15/5/2014: Currently preparing 4x drawings that I am increasingly thinking of as the 'Black Ice' series ( or ein schwarzes eis). Each drawing's height is 150cm and approximately 50-60cm wide and is limited exclusively to cold and warm grey tones and white. Pushing the tones towards the deep grey feels slightly like an endurance piece. And like an endurance piece, the work has pushed me into an unknowable territory.

I am also still working on the 'Raft drawings'. 'Raft drawing No. 5' is progressing well.

1. Beata Geyer's 'Oblique' exhibition opened at Articulate Project Space on Friday night.
2. 'David McDiarmid' opened at the NGV last week. I am looking forward to viewing the exhibition soon. Congratulations to Robert, Jeffrey and Bernard for agreeing to outward loans for the exhibition.
3. Lynne Barwick presented 'Like a structured language' (2014) an immersive text installation at Marrickville Garage 2-4 May 2014. 
4. Tacita Dean's 'Event for stage' at Carriageworks. Remarkable visual, narrative driven and auditory experience. Still thinking on this.
5. Juliana Engberg in conversation with Tacita Dean at Carriageworks. Now....if we could transplant Juliana to Sydney on a permanent basis, this would be a very different town.
6. Exciting new feminist blog:
7. Elizabeth Day's recent collaboration with the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project :
This project hit a raw nerve. It strongly reminded me of the many battles my own Mother fought and won against the authorities who wanted to take me into permanent care when I was an infant. The authorities deemed that my Mother, a single immigrant woman with chronic rheumatoid arthritis, would not be able to care or provide for a new baby. 
Subsequently, my Mother had no choice but to take a gigantic leap of faith. She placed me temporarily in a children's home while she underwent experimental double knee replacement surgery in the late 1960s at the age of 31. Prior to the operation, her surgeon told her chances were 50:50. If she didn't have the surgery- she would end up in a wheelchair. If the surgery failed- she'd end up in a wheelchair. 
Luckily, the surgery was a success and my Mother went on to prove all the authorities wrong. And to be truly candid, only an idiot would take my Mother on in battle. 
Closing: I'm very grateful to all the Artists and project partners involved in presenting this important and thought provoking project.


'Fair Isle' now closed

The final movement/ installment of 'Fair Isle' at APS closed last Sunday. The many benefits of this exhibition was that it enabled both emerging and mid career artists to make connections with artists and viewers outside of their usual art friendship groups. Special highlights of this exhibition include Bettina Bruder's rubber band tango with Sach Catt's tension piece, Linden Braye's roller-pallet and white noise sound piece; and Rose Ann McGreevy's soulful, 'Interrupting the spatial plane' (2014).

Better than television: Weekly viewings each Sunday morning (in addition to being able to attend a few of the openings) enabled me to watch the exhibition expand and contract as if it were a set of lungs. With some conversations louder than others, and other works more conceptually orientated than others, the overall effect of this jazz-like exercise was that artists from each segment of the exhibition were able to play and to test their works within the experimental framework of a larger free floating conversation. 

A thoughtful comment made by Andrew Simmons at the artist forum on Sunday questioned the success of the exhibition and queried the level of participation by artists in the overall premise of the exhibition.  Subsequently, this comment made me reflect and think upon my own work and how it sat within the open ended curatorial premise for this exhibition.

India Zegan| Raft #4 (2014)| Archival coloured pencils on archival Fabriano paper (200gsm)| Dimensions 150cmx 150cm| Photograph: Felicity Jenkins

The work that I submitted for this exhibition, 'Raft drawing #4' (2014) belongs to a larger suite of drawings and floor based sculptures that I am currently working on- in addition to other concurrent studio projects that I am currently developing. As a mediation on Gericault's painting, 'Raft of the Medusa' (1818-9), this suite presents a number of drawings of imaginary island refuges for survivors of the shipwreck. I am aiming to complete this body of drawings, inspired by old bromoil photographs, by October 2014. Drawing to the edge of the paper, using only white pencils, is a curious development which is strangely compelling.

I hope that 'Fair isle' enabled participating artists to think deeply and critically upon their practice, i.e how will this piece read if I insert a hole here; how does this work directly engage with the premise; what does it mean to make this object and limit the materials used to three elements (or less/ or more); what does it mean to make this piece at this point in one's practice; how actively does one engage in another artists' practices to conceive their own response in an exhibition-laboratory; how do you signal and/or reference one's engagement with another artist's work through materials used or conceptual frameworks; or what does it mean to remake significant elements of a work shown two years earlier. 
Needless to say, these types of questions are endless and ongoing if someone is thinking seriously on their practice.

Special thanks to Project Coordinators + Artist dynamos: Emma Wise, Sue Callanan and Margaret Roberts.