Lightsources: Experiences after COVID

Check out the new RMIT Art Exhibition in Knox Place 🎨
In the cave like recess along Knox place, five illuminated images arouse feelings and thoughts of what might be left absent. Marks are made, images and texts obscured or re-configured as the data of life is tantalisingly concealed, inferred or erased and ultimately made beautiful.

As we slowly emerge from a seclusion complicated by the increase of online communication (thanks to the ‘pandemic that shall not be named’) we come to realise the online experience is mediated through processes of curation–editing and re-formulations that deprive us of authenticity.

The works in Knox Place Lightscapes, while produced from a variety of intentions and methods, are pregnant with content alluded to, avoided or erased through differing strategies of visual privation and inference. It is an obscure arrangement, analogous to the changeable realities and obfuscations of the current moment.

 

Hootan heydari

Untitled 2019, Photographic images and plaster. Courtesy of the Artist
 

Hootan is a multidisciplinary artist, exploring themes of migration, identity and memory. With an Honours degree from RMIT University he is currently undertaking a Master of Fine Art at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne.

A matrix of photographs reproduced from the artist’s family archive is systematically concealed. The use of ‘non-originals’ questions the deification of the photograph as an object. Each of these images is interrupted by an amorphous piece of plaster over the faces of their subjects. Plaster is a material used to heal broken bones, build homes or take imprints of whatever it comes into contact with. Partially concealing information by blocking out the faces of the subjects repetitively (and compulsively) could be interpreted as a sign of ‘madness’, or equally as an attempt to preserve and heal the past in the current moment. Regardless, this repetitive analogue gesture revisits historical moments to diffuse the weight of a personal history.
 


Charlene Caday

The Edge, 2021 Creased and perforated paper. Courtesy of the Artist

Charlene is a Melbourne based artist currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT. With a background in fashion, her mixed media practice spans sculpture, textiles and drawing; where she documents conversations between material states as a technique to generate drawn records of movement and exchange.

In The Edge, the folded edges of a re-flattened piece of paper are traced with fine perforations. As gesture, it examines the results of a common material after the obliterative transitional action of being screwed up. A meticulous revisitation of a past event, this ritualistic observation echoes the scrupulous revisitation of a past acts in general–a contemplation of how personal encounters of living through the pandemic influence and evolve our way of making ‘sense’ of it all.

 


Jasper Potter

Disintegration, 2021 Ink on gridded sketch paper Courtesy of the Artist

Jasper is a visual artist and student of Fine Arts in Drawing at RMIT. He works professionally as a Graphic Recorder; capturing conversations and presentations visually through live illustration, text and mind-mapping.

A data set reflecting mundane, day-to-day experience is transcribed using several algorithms to generate the colourful, linear visual mapping displayed. As part of a large body of work, the constituent elements of line, colour and the gridded form map and reiterate a variety of abstractions completely decoupled from the initial data. In a time of data saturation, these works make beautiful the factual rhythms and patterns of a life that is not always felt as such.
 


Benjamin Sheppard

Scribble Me This..., 2021 pen on paper Courtesy the Artist

Benjamin is a multi-disciplinary Melbourne based artist and academic working at RMIT. The work here is taken from a continuum of works on paper exploring the potential for ‘drawings in-progress’ to reflect who we are and how we communicate that in the contemporary moment.

In the cave like alcove of Knox place, one of five light boxes illuminates scribbled fields of colour leaving absent the familiar form of a hand. Layer after layer, reflecting moment after moment, absent hands call out as if to say ‘I was here!... or perhaps, I’m still here...!’. Recalling the same gesture in cave paintings common across continents and cultures, the presence of these repeatedly overlayed, almost waving, hands remind us of the human compulsion to mark presence. From the caves of pre-history to the selfie- dominated online salute, we are still saying, I am here. We are all still here.
 


Jodie Flugge

Not Titled, 2020 Artists own letters, beeswax, pigment and card on MDF Courtesy of the Artist

Jodie is a mixed media artist exploring material deconstructions and reconfiguration. She is completing a Bachelor of fine Arts in painting at RMIT.

Before Covid was upon us, I was going through all the mementoes, letters, diaries I have kept since I was 15. Reading letters from family, friends and past relationships filled me with nostalgia, melancholy, embarrassment and a strange sort of disconnectedness from my younger self. I resolved never to read them again. I also decided that I didn’t want my kids to read them ,or have to deal with them after I die. Throwing them out wasn’t an option. With statistics of death and infection constantly delivered throughout COVID, these numbers took on new meaning. So many numbers and with every number comes a family dealing with the aftermath. Dealing with my archive of memories took on a new urgency. The resulting process aimed to obfuscate– making unreadable, while somehow retaining, those memories.
 

 
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