BORDER CONTROL

Borderlife is an unsettling view of the natural environment that focusses on both the psychology and aesthetics of place through images of landscape. Yolande Norris has brought together a group of artists whose work collectively generates a potent  ambience of anxiety via diverse representations of the (often) delusional human interface with nature. Interestingly, all the artists are women and if there is one clear thread  it would have to be a certain reverence for the invincibility of mother nature. Heavy on irony and with no shortage of pathos, Borderlife  seems to illustrate  Camille Paglia’s comment that “Art is form struggling to wake from the nightmare of nature.” There are related issues in Nicola Dickson’s impressive effort to produce a paradoxical  atmosphere of exotic “otherness” from a developing sense of self with an exhibition of  painting that uses the entire gallery to construct a modern Australiana. And hot on the heels of Mr Fibby with their Jarry like story of gypsys adrift comes Lily Hibberd, from far off Melbourne, with her absurdist installation, Deadman Monolgue. Lily is one of those  rare artists who is able to present complex theoretical issues in ways that are engaging and wryly amusing. The moral dilemmas of a painter are raised by way of an under the sheets rant making up the narrative component of a work that offers its audience a genuinely strange experience. These are all very high quality shows if we do say so ourselves.  

This was a really big opening with an electric vibe that was punctuated by intermittent disasters including flat camera batteries. So Julian had to take some of the photos while others are re-enactments … 

(here they are, two perfectly normal people) Lily and Alain

(here they are, two perfectly normal people) Lily and Alain

Nicola (with a sample of her magnificent painting installation)

Nicola (with a sample of her magnificent painting installation)

TJ & Chris (see RED)

TJ & Chris (see RED)

Rachael Freeman visits Lily Hibberd's Deadman Monologue (photo Julian Day)

Rachael Freeman visits Lily Hibberd's Deadman Monologue (photo Julian Day)

Laura Boynes and Sarah Kaur

Laura Boynes and Sarah Kaur (photo Julian Day)